Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Student Government met Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.
General business included opening roll call, approval of minutes, approval of agenda, special order speeches (which is open to all people sitting with the senate, not including the gallery, with a three minute limit to each individuals speech), as well as executive reports.
In his executive report, Mohammad Aggour, director of the Student Government Business and Finance Committee reported that remaining budget for Student Government to allot to student organizations at Eastern Michigan was $23,463.41. The remaining budget to be allotted from student government to Eastern Michigan club sports was reported at $25,752.78.
During the Constituent's Forum, which opens the floor of the senate meeting to all students currently enrolled at Eastern Michigan University to speak to Student Government, Queer and Transgender People of Color Collective (QTPOCC) coordinator, Ariana Khan, of the LGBT Resource Center stated QTPOCC and the LGBT Resource Center were in the process of creating a dictionary primarily for international students and people of color, for whom English is not their first language. The aim of the dictionary is for students to better understand themselves and those around them, not just in the realm of sexual orientation and gender identity but in regard to socioeconomic status as well.
She further went on to say the LGBT Resource Center was seeking out students and members of the community who are highly capable in the English language, such as students majoring in English or those pursuing their graduate studies in English for help in this project.
As part of the delegate report, Muslim Student Association (MSA) delegate, Mustafa Aggour reported that MSA had their first board meeting Sunday, Jan. 16, which outlined goals and potential events for the winter 2020 semester. According to Aggour, the MSA has hosted two events this semester as of the Jan. 21, and planned at a minimum five more for the remainder of the semester.
Resolution 106-11, authored by Sen. Tyler Kochman, is a resolution to create an “ad-hoc committee on the issue of disability rights and accomodations.” The resolution was supported by the Speaker of the Senate, Taylor Lawrence, as well as Sens. Aljirafi, Osborne, Ray, Romero, Salice and Scott.
The resolution was created in order to address areas where the university is lacking in supporting students with disabilities, and specifically students who receive assistance from the university’s Disabilities Resource Center (DRC). According to Kochman, the DRC is understaffed, with limited support staff, specifically in the realm of note-takers as stated Kochman and Sen. Amanda Fox during the senate meeting. Fox stated, that as working as a note taker for the DRC, there are far more students who are in need of note taking staff than can be provided.
In addition, Kochman addressed how in many location on campus the braille is either sub-par or non-existent and at times the university will be mobility-impaired due to ice and snow that is not cleared from major pathways.
The resolution will create "an ad-hoc committee for the 2019-2020 academic year that is tasked with recommending ways in which the university can better advocate for and recognize the rights of the disabled as well as ways in which the university can enhance its accommodations to the disabled.”
The committee will meet on a biweekly basis with committee members assigned the roles of "researching and creating documents, setting up or attending meetings that don’t interfere with a member’s class or work schedule, and attending campus-related events."
The entirety of the resolution was passed in a 19-0 vote.
Resolution 106-13 is “a resolution to request that the budget for counseling and psychological services (CAPS) be increased by allocating some of the money that was designated to the university by the GameAbove grant to increase their departmental funding.” The resolution was authored by Senator Colton Ray and supported by Senator Luis Romero.
Resolution 106-14, authored President Smith and supported by Senator Newmyer, calls "upon the president’s office to commission the office of institutional research to analyze the data collected by the diversity campus climate assessment and produce a report to be used by the president’s commission on diversity for action planning and be publicly released.”
Both Resolution 106-13 and 106-14 were tabled to the next student government meeting.
After tabling two resolutions the senate went on to discuss Resolution 106-15. Authored by Sen. Marisa Salice and supported by Sens. Kochman and Cooley, alongside Speaker Lawrence, the resolution aims to "encourage LAZ Parking/ParkEMU to improve their ticketing practice in order to maintain clarity with the Student Body of Eastern Michigan University."
Salice requests, via the resolution, that LAZ digitally inform students of being ticketed, via either email or text. This comes as a response to students who "do not know they have received a ticket because it has been blown off their vehicle from the weather, or removed in another sort of matter.” In this circumstance, "students do not discover that they have been ticketed until they receive a “Notification of Delinquent Payment” in the mail almost a month after [being ticketed].”
A recommendation by Sen. Colton Ray asked that the resolution request that the notification be sent within 24 hours rather than 48 hours as stated by the resolution initially. This was further supported by Senator Dominic Dame, as this would allow students who are ticketed to appeal the ticket within the 48 hours permitted for appeals.
Swartzinski, stated that in order for the amendment to go forward, the amendment would have to be submitted to the chair (senate Vice President Hajer Abuzir) in writing, via adding to the resolution’s “Where As” clause.
The resolution was then voted on by the senate, and passed unanimously.
University administration will now see through to enact the resolution
Lastly it was brought to the attention of the senate that former senator Balaal Hollings is no longer a student at EMU and his seat within the senate is now vacant.