Latest Release: November 30, 2020

 

A Message from ASMSU about DEI Foundations at MSU

November 30, 2020
Dear Spartans,

When I first arrived at Michigan State University in 2017, I saw the ugly form
that blatant discrimination and microagressions could take our campus. Several
years down the road, I have watched members of several communities call out
for action against perpetrators of discrimination. Students have risen in solidarity
during protests, sit-ins, committees and forums.

Last year, I was a General Assembly representative for James Madison
College. In this position I had the privilege of writing and passing ASMSU bill
56-31 – a bill to advocate for mandatory annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
education and development for all faculty, staff and students of MSU.

Today, I write to you with a sense of gratitude as the intent of this bill is coming
to fulfillment. Earlier this month, the university began making this mandatory DEI
education and development available to students, faculty and staff. It is called
DEI Foundations at MSU. Students should have received an email from
train@ora.msu.edu with a link to the training. If you have not received an email,
visit ora.msu.edu/train and login with your NetID.
I hope that through this education and development we, as Spartans, can
provide a campus that is safe, respectful, welcoming and supportive for all. It
will allow Spartans to consider how we treat one another, discuss issues
confronting our society, and make a statement of MSU’s institutional values and
workplace expectations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion.

Multiple campus departments and organizations were consulted while
developing this curriculum, including ASMSU. Student body leaders were
involved in this process advocating on behalf of all undergraduate students.
Student educational modules will focus on understanding the benefits of living in
a diverse community and explore their role in creating an inclusive campus
community. Modules will also provide an overview of identities and challenge
you to reflect on your own identities, as well as provide a basic understanding of
the concepts of allyship, power, privilege, respect and inclusion.

We must remember that this work is not a sprint, but a marathon. Change will
not happen overnight, but this is a step in the right direction. I look forward to
the progress we will make as a campus community following this education and
development, and know that our future at MSU is bright and inclusive.

In Green and White,
Abii-Tah Chungong Bih, ASMSU President.

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Dear Spartans,
As laid out in the Associated Students of Michigan State University constitution,
we are dedicated to recognizing “the individual liberties of our diverse
population and ASMSU at no time shall discriminate on the basis of sex,
religion, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, color, age, marital status,
gender identity, differential physical ability, veteran status, political persuasion,
or physical characteristics.” As such, when those liberties come under attack,
we must speak out.

The statements issued from U.S. Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Alito
threatens the liberties of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer
community by reiterating their dissent for Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the
landmark case legalizing same-sex marriage.

MSU is home to many LGBTQ+ identifying people. We understand the impact
of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) had on your community and the milestone
achievement it marked in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality. It took the work of
many activists over many decades to get here. Furthermore, we understand the
fear and concerns that it could only take a few people in a few hours to take it all
away.

Everyone should be able to express who they truly are at MSU. A threat to
freedom for one community is a threat to all communities. We realize, in the
near future, these freedoms could be taken away for many students that are
part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Allyship is an important part of creating change. As an ally, we are continuing
our advocacy at the local, state and federal level. This includes advocating for
the amendment of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976 and the repeal of
the Food and Drug Administration’s blood donor deferral policy. One of the most
impactful ways you can be an ally is to contact your local, state and federal
representatives to push for the protected rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
ASMSU is dedicated to improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on our
campus. As such, we fully support the decision Obergefell v Hodges and will
continue to work to ensure the freedom of expression is protected for all
Spartans. However, we understand that equality is not secured through one
action or granted by one case. It is instead all of us, as Spartans, working
together for a better future.

Sincerely,
ASMSU 57th General Assembly Representatives

Eight students from six colleges to join the General Assembly.

EAST LANSING, Mich. ­­­­­­––

The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) announced eight students from six colleges will join the General Assembly following last week’s special election.

Newly elected representatives:

College of Arts and Letters:

  • Carl Grondin (45)

College of Communication Arts and Sciences:

  • Caitlin Finerty (30)

College of Engineering:

  • Daniyal Dar (45)

Lyman Briggs College:

  • Harsna Chahal (81)
  • Ishaan Modi (77)

College of Social Science:

  • Devin Woodruff (55)
  • Julian Trevino (41)

College of Veterinary Medicine:

  • Lee Ackerson (32)

Newly elected General Assembly representatives will complete ASMSU orientation on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Their first committee meeting will be Thursday, October 15, 2020. For a complete list of election results, visit asmsu.msu.edu/elections.

EAST LANSING, Mich. ­­­­­­–– The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) announced 16 students from six colleges as candidates for the special General Assembly election this fall.

Candidates for the special General Assembly election:

College of Arts and Letters:

  • Carl Grodin

College of Communication Arts and Sciences:

  • Caitlin Finerty

College of Engineering:

  • Daniyal Dar

  • Erich Hairston

  • Brian Hanton

Lyman Briggs College:

  • Nishtha Kakar

  • Ishaan Modi

  • Jyoti Prasad

  • Alex Sills

College of Social Science:

  • Macken Keefe

  • Julian Trevino

  • Tirstan Walters

  • Austin Winters

  • Lockie Woods

  • Devin Woodruff

College of Veterinary Medicine:

  • Lee Ackerson

Candidates have two weeks to campaign. The special General Assembly election takes place during the week of October 5, 2020. For more information, visit asmsu.msu.edu/elections

Dear Spartans,

We were all looking forward to returning to our beloved campus in a few weeks. Knowing it would look different, but optimistic about how resilient Spartans would be to the change. As universities across the country begin to re-open, there are spikes in cases, putting students, staff, faculty, and community members at risk for COVID-19. President Stanley has taken aggressive action throughout the pandemic, being the first university in Michigan to pivot to online instruction in March. Today, President Stanley is again taking aggressive action by announcing MSU will continue online instruction for the fall semester.

As fellow Spartans, we understand this means a further disruption to an already disruptive few months. We want to reiterate our commitment to serving our Spartan community. Today’s announcement saddens us, but keeping our community safe is the highest priority. We admire the humility and leadership that it takes to learn from others, and quickly pivot for the sake of our safety.

We look forward to working with President Stanley and other administrators on this fluid situation and promise to keep Spartans informed through constant communication and updates.

In Green and White,

Abii-Tah Bih, President

Bri Aiello, Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jordan Polk, Vice President for Finance and Opperations

Dylan Catalano, Vice President for Student Allocations

Maysa Sitar, Vice President for Governmental Affairs

Nora Teagan, Vice President for Internal Administration

Shiksha Sneha, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

Andrea Bair, Chief of Staff

Brandon Crawford, Public Relations Manager

EAST LANSING, MI ­­­­­­–– The Associated Students of Michigan State University announced a special fall election to fill 21 vacant seats in the 57th General Assembly.

“Due to the unique circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic, not all General Assembly seats were filled in our usual spring elections,” said Andrea Bair, ASMSU Chief of Staff and Chair of Undergraduate Elections Commission. “I am hopeful we can discover some amazing student leaders who are willing to serve students at this time.”

The special election will take place during the week of Oct. 5, 2020. Students interested in running for a seat need to complete an election packet and get 25 signatures from students in their college by Sept. 16, 2020. Students can sign a petition for a candidate using their MSU NetID and password to comply with COVID-19 social distancing measures. All election materials will be available online at asmsu.msu.edu/elections beginning Aug. 10, 2020.

“Students should run for the General Assembly because it is an ideal way to implement changes you believe are necessary,” said Jack Harrison, ASMSU representative for the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. “Student government is for anyone and it is important to have representatives from every college so that we consider all perspectives when debating legislation.”

The General Assembly is the legislative body of ASMSU. It is comprised of college-elected representatives from the degree-granting colleges at MSU, as well as representatives from the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students, Council of Progressive Students, and major governing organizations. Legislative action is then carried forward in advocacy to University officials, community leaders, as well as representatives at the State Capitol and Federal level of government.

For the first time ever, students can run and serve on the General Assembly during their first year at MSU. This will provide a unique opportunity for incoming students who want to make their impact on campus. For more information, visit asmsu.msu.edu/elections.

EAST LANSING, MI – The Associated Students of Michigan State University and the International Student Association announced a virtual webinar with President Stanley to address new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations.

“This webinar is paramount because in moments of despair, the decentralization of information must be a priority,” said Abii-Tah Bih, ASMSU President. “Instead of serving as the megaphone for the student voice, this platform will permit international students to speak for themselves and to receive firsthand reassurance from the president of their university”

The webinar will take place on July 15, 2020 at 3 P.M. EDT using Zoom. A link will be posted to ASMSU social media channels Wednesday morning for students to sign-up for the webinar. Additionally, students are encouraged to submit questions for President Stanley using a Google Form. Please note, questions regarding immigration should be directed to the Office of International Students and Scholars.

“International students need to hear from administrators to see what Michigan State University is doing for international students,” said Chittawan Boonsitanon, ISA President. “I hope that this will provide President Stanley an opportunity to reach out to international students and share the work that has been done for our community.”

Earlier this month, I.C.E. released new regulations for international students. These regulations state students with F-1 and M-1 visas who are not taking any in-person courses in the United States must leave the country. As of July 13, 2020, MSU has joined 58 other institutions of higher education in filing an amicus brief in support of Harvard and MIT’s motion for a preliminary injunction on the new regulations.

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EAST LANSING, MI ­­­­­­–– The Associated Students of Michigan State University announced three General Assembly meetings to take place during the summer 2020 semester.

“The three meetings for this summer are special meetings. I called them in my rights as President because of the turbulent times we are facing,” said Abii-Tah Bih, ASMSU President. “It is vital that the student government is active and available when we are needed most.”

General Assembly meetings will take place on June 18, 2020, July 16, 2020, and Aug. 20, 2020. All summer General Assembly sessions will be virtual using Zoom and the student body is encouraged to attend.

“These summer General Assembly meetings are going to be a unique experience,” said Nikunj Agarwal, International Student Representative. “For the first time in recent years the General Assembly will meet during the summer to discuss concerns and collectively find solutions during this time of crisis.”

The General Assembly is the legislative body of ASMSU. It is comprised of college-elected representatives from the degree-granting colleges at MSU, as well as representatives from the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students, Council of Progressive Students, and major governing organizations. For more information about ASMSU, visit asmsu.msu.edu

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