In a tense negotiating session at Trotter House yesterday, student activists seem to have be taken seriously by administrators in their demands for increased funding of student services, which experienced deep cuts this year. Although the administration didn’t make any concessions or agree to any of the activist’s demands, I think the students are well positioned to win at least some of their objectives.
“Coleman started the meeting, expressing her desire to work together with students to find solutions.
“Here’s what I want to do: Figure out ways to have more productive dialogues. We need to accelerate some decisions that are taking too long … You deserve that — the entire University deserves that,” Coleman said.
As Coleman began to address the University’s budget problems, LSA senior Jackie Bray, an SVA member, cut her off and moved forward with SVA’s 10 demands regarding undergraduate services.
RC senior Erik Glenn voiced SVA’s request that the University retain an Education Affairs Coordinator in the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs on a permanent and full-time basis. The LGBT Affairs office recently announced the position will be terminated at the beginning of the next fiscal year. SVA also requested that gender identity be added to the University’s nondiscrimination policy.
… Harper agreed to rehire a Latino coordinator to replace the previous coordinator who left last semester.
“The Latino position will be posted within two weeks, and we’re going to act more aggressively to fill this position. It has always been a permanent, full-time position,” Harper said. …
> Daily: “Administrators address cuts to student services”
> See also this story from yesterday: “Budget troubles burden celebration” Here’s excerpts:
“… But budget cuts have undermined this year’s Pow Wow, most notably by reducing its usual three-day span to two. The University has cut the budget of the Division of Student Affairs, the event’s main sponsor, by 4 percent this year.
The Pow Wow has lost an estimated 25 percent of its University funding this year, coordinator Steven Abbott said. Administration officials could not be reached for specific budget figures.
The decrease in revenue has corresponded with continual increases in costs, including renting the Crisler Arena, hiring Department of Public Safety officers and covering maintenance fees.
“I feel that the upper administration has not taken student services like Pow Wow, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs seriously and hasn’t given them priority. They boast about diversity and boast about supporting diversity, but these budget cuts don’t reflect that,” said LSA senior Nickole Fox, who is a co-chair of NASA.
Many other students are “frustrated and angry,” as Fox said, and cuts and changes to student services have led to the formation of the group Student Voices in Action, which lobbies the administration for change.” …
> See the Daily’s photo of University President Mary Sue Coleman, Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper, University Provost Paul Courant and Dean of Students Ed Willis speaking to students yesterday
Also of note:
> “Alleged rape under investigation”