Budget Cuts, or “The Student Agenda: Unite to Fight!”

Building from the meetings held around campus last Wednesday, a broad coalition of students and student organizations is planning a series of activities this week culminating with a an effort to encourage students to attend the Regents meeting this Thursday:

“The Division of Student Affairs has launched a barrage of attacks against student services and communities on campus. In response, several communities are organizing to have our voices heard and have our rights, as students, given their due respect. At the bottom of this email is a list of the various cuts that we are organizing around.

The central problem is this: Detrimental decisions that greatly affect student life are being made without any input from students what so ever. This has to stop.

Below is a rough outline of the events for the following week, and the opportunities to lend your hands and help out this drasitically important student initiative.

If there are any questions, comments, or concerns, please email stopthecuts at umich.edu, or come talk to us on Tuesday in the diag.

TUESDAY: Diag day, spreading our message from 11-4, with music, T-shirts, and opportunities to express ourselves.

TUESDAY NIGHT: 7pm, Third Floor, Union
Michigan Student Assembly Meeting were four resolutions that deal with these issues will be up for consideration.

THURSDAY: 1:30 pm Diag
*March to the Fleming building and have a presence inside and
*outside the Regents Meeting, with lots of energy and passion.

As a quick re-cap:

“The Issues:

1.The education coordinator, responsible for the nationally known and regionally utilized Speakers Beaureu, have been terminated after 8 years of service.
2. 8000 additional dollars has been cut from the operating budget, in addition to a 10000 dollar cut last year.

Greek Life
Three new rules will be imposed on all houses:
1. Every house will be alcohol free.
2. Each pledge must wait to rush until the second semester of their college experience, which has extremely detrimental housing affects.
3. Each house will be required to have a live in “House Mom/Dad”, that will not only take up a room of availability in the house, but will also have to paid a salary out of the houses budget.

The changes in SAPAC negatively affect survivors of sexualized violence by eliminating an accessible, on-campus safe space that has always been a vital resource in ensuring the healing of survivors of sexual assault. Further, by moving counseling services to CAPS, the University creates a situation in which survivors risk seeing their perpetrators when seeking counseling. These changes affect all areas of the University, because SAPAC services both female and male students, University staff, and faculty. Such disregard for the emotional and safety needs of survivors sends a strong message that the University is not willing to seriously address the wide-spread incidence of sexual assault on this campus and is not committed to providing an accessible safe space for survivors. For more details check out www.ourvoicescount.org or email our.voices.count at umich.edu.

Pow Wow
The Ann Arbor Powwow is a University event, comparable to commencements, that is put on primarily by the Native American Student Association. This event has thousands of participants from accross the country and over 10,000 people attend, including thousands of university of Michigan Students. This event is one of the only attractive aspects of this University to Native people. If there are cuts to this event, this could effect the perception of the University to Native people, reducing the already severly low numbers of Native students who choose to come here. Also, they are denying the student body of the opportunity to experience diversity. This school talks a lot about diversity, but when it comes to implimenting it, they are not putting in enough effort. This is an opportunity to increase the campus community’s knowledge about Native people and Native American Cultures; the University should be whole-heartedly supporting it, not cutting it. …

Trotter Multicultural Center
This physical representation of the campus multicultural community has faces these problems:
1. Negligence of funding and maintenance for decades
2. Cut the position of Trotter Hose Director
3. Squandered any student attempts to make the cultural center more accessible, to consider reformative changes, or to move locations.

Hate Crimes
The lack of Hate Crimes protocols leaves students without a sense of agency when they run into these situations. Instances of hate speech and grafitti are seen as almost ignored when they are kept “in house” in many spheres. At a large university with paid employees to think about everything from the sanity of the bathrooms to the drop/add deadline, it is ridiculous that this issue remains ambiguous and abstract. The publicity of, the expansion of, and the usage of Hate Crimes protocol at the University of Michigan will bring about an unsurmounted sense of security currently absent from this space.

Student of Color Admissions
The enrollment of Native American Students has been very low and has decreased by 27% last year. Native Students on campus have to deal with a sgnificant amount of ignorance on the part of faculty and other students partly due to the apparent invisiblity of Native people. If our numbers continue to decrease, which we are aware that they are, we will continue to be invisible and the ignorance will continue. Also, this University was founded on a land grant from the People of the Three Fires (Ft. Miegs treaty 1817), and part of the aggreement was that the UNiversity would thereafter educate their decendants. Currently, I do not see the committment to this promise by the University. The Numbers of Native Americans accross the country are growing, why are the University’s numbers decreasing?

MESA- Latino Coordinator & Middle Eastern Coordinator
The lack of a Latino Coordinator demonstrates the apathy of administration towards the Latino community. The coordinator position was only offered on a temporary basis with the expectation of it expiring in April. This restriction made any attempt to find a coordinator futile because the most attractive trait in a job is job security, especially in economic times such as these. The result is the students are forced to take on much of the responsibility for themselves. Coordinators are a crucial role in a community; they are the ones who do all the little things that help the community to thrive. They also act as a liaison between the students and administration. Steven Abbott, the Native American Coordinator, has taken on many of these roles without being asked. He is doing double the work with no extra compensation for his efforts. Although Steven is an amazing man, he is still only one person. He has responsibilities toward his own community which is currently suffering from massive budget cuts for events such as Pow Wow. In addition to the lack of a coordinator, Student Affairs also greatly reduced the Latino budget. Although the budget has been steadily decreasing, this year it has hit a rock low bottom low of nine thousand dollars down from fifteen thousand last year. These two combined concerns make events like ALMA (Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement), the orientation program for incoming Latino freshman, extremely hard to arrange. Although students have taken the initiative, most of the efforts into planning have to be put into fundraising to make up the lost funds. And there is less time to fundraise because more time is needed to organize events without a coordinator taking care of the more minute details. Also, Latino freshman have a harder time getting acclimated to this university without a coordinator because many of the services on campus are explained by the coordinator to students. It is through the coordinator that many students are aware of resources such as CAPS, SAPAC, and the Sweetland Learning Center to name a few. Many students do not feel comfortable talking about certain issues with a person outside of their own race.”

Author: Rob