Elected student officials met Tuesday, Sept. 3 to discuss procedural matters such as their budget, junior officer procedures and due process for suspended student organizations. Student Body President Ethan Smith called it a “strong meeting with a clear path forward.”
Pres. (Ethan) Smith and his vice president Hajer Abuzir campaigned last winter semester on meeting students’ basic needs - like housing and food security - and these sentiments were echoed throughout the SG meeting and the subsequent discussion in Welch Hall with University President James Smith and Provost Rhonda Longworth.
The real focus of the meeting, however, was on polishing the language and structure of the budget to promote more responsible, transparent spending. Resolution 106-01 was met with little pushback and passed unanimously within committee and on the floor. Among other things, it sets a $5,000 contingency in reserves, splits allocation of funds between club sports and student organizations and is ultimately intended to promote better clarity in budgetary matters. It is the hope of the Business and Finance committee that this clarity lessens the need to dip into reserves and discourages Student Government from getting “money-throwing happy” amidst budget cuts.
Other resolutions passed focused on judicial procedure for student organizations in bad standing and expansion of leadership for junior Senate officers (similar to what exists in the U.S. Senate). These resolutions are intended to promote accountability and the spread of knowledge both within the body and on campus at-large.
After the meeting, the Student Government Executive Board and Senators migrated to Welch Hall to discuss the upcoming year with University President James Smith and Provost Rhonda Longworth. Topics of discussion were enrollment plans, advertising, student advocacy and support structures for outside the classroom.
Smith called the education received from EMU a “private school education with a public school price” as he emphasized the teacher-to-student ratio, long term recruitment and enrollment plans and student retention at the University. He then showed some targeted ads to the group, one of which is embedded below.
Further, President Smith urges students to advocate for better university funding from our state government in Lansing as Michigan currently ranks 44th nationwide in support for higher education. He believes state leaders will listen to student advocates over University administration.
Finally, to tackle the topics and issues of privatization, the $6 million funding gap of the new athletic center and housing and food security, the University administration and Student Government are posed to continue working on housing plans, fundraising and student services as the academic year progresses.