CSG talks vaccine mandate, therapy reimbursements in final meeting of the semester

The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government met virtually on Tuesday evening for the last meeting of the semester. The assembly discussed the creation of a CSG COVID-19 People of Color Impact Task Force, a resolution which would urge the University to ban single-use plastics and the creation of a Therapy Healing Program to help students cope with recent events in the nation.

A resolution to create a COVID-19 People of Color Impact Task Force, sponsored by assembly members across four schools, was reclassified so that it could be discussed during the meeting without having to be referred back to the rules committee. 

The Assembly voted to accept this reclassification and began discussion on the resolution, which would create a task force to advocate on behalf of people of color  to make sure their concerns are heard by the University as well as address the impacts of COVID-19 and a potential vaccine mandate on marginalized communities. Though CSG does not have the power to implement a vaccine mandate, CSG members said the University’s administration asked CSG to provide a recommendation on whether the vaccine should be mandated. 

Senate Assembly approved a resolution at yesterday’s meeting to mandate vaccinations for the 2021-2022 academic year. In a recent interview with The Michigan Daily, University President Mark Schlissel said University administration is still discussing whether or not to implement a vaccine mandate.

Engineering sophomore Zaynab Elkolaly, who originally appealed for reclassification, spoke to the assembly about the goals of the resolution. Based on a survey done by CSG in January, nearly 20% of students who self-identified as Black responded at the time that they did not plan on getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This is compared to under 3% of students identifying as white and under 1% of students identifying as Asian responding in the same way.

“This resolution is to create a task force that will address the impact of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in response to the administration asking for CSG’s official opinion,” Elkolaly said. “It will also be to basically create a space to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on students of color in particular and people of color in general.” 

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