Recap of Student Government General Assembly on Wednesday, February 17

Lauren Hackett, Managing Editor

During the Student Government General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, an update to UM’s Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Umbrella Policy was discussed and a senate bill designed to make laptops more accessible to students was presented. 

Kirstie Strobel, Interim Director and Title IX Coordinator of UM-Flint’s Office of Institutional Equity, spoke on the updated policy, which aims to address sexual misconduct broadly, and function as an umbrella policy across the three UM campuses. The revised policy, which can be read more about here, includes step-by-step procedures that students, employees, and third-parties on all three campuses can take when reporting and addressing sexual, gender-based or Title IX misconduct. 

One amendment to the policy that Strobel mentioned deals with the definition of sexual harassment. The new policy narrows the definition from conduct that is “severe, persistent, or pervasive” to conduct that is so “severe, and pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person” fair access to education. 

The policy will be finalized in July, but the Office of Institutional Equity is looking to gain as much student feedback as possible until March 15. Students can share their thoughts on the updated policy by taking this survey, and can plan for a Town Hall addressing the topic in the coming weeks. 

Following Strobel’s presentation, SG President Samantha Uptmor swore in new Senator Angela Rouhib. SG is continuing to accept and approve applications for prospective Senators. 

In his report, Director of Media Relations Harley Brown discussed a new committee students can be a part of. The Student Relations Committee functions to publicize SG events and activities among students, media and the greater community. The committee can be read about in depth on SG’s website

Dr. Julie Snyder, SG’s Advisor, shared information about an upcoming Black History Month Keynote Address, which will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Dr. Aldon Morris, a Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University, will be delivering a talk titled “The Children Shall Lead Them: Young Activists and the Civil Rights Movement.” Anyone interested in attending the virtual event can register here

Genevieve Heydt, SG’s Director of Financial Affairs, presented Senate Bill 2020-005, which asks for $1125 in funding for two Dell laptops. These laptops will be added to the university’s Emergency Laptop Loan Program, which is open to any student registered for the current semester. Senate Bill 2020-005 will be voted on in next week’s General Assembly at 7 p.m., which can be tuned into here.