SGA reacts to March 2 shooting, passes Student Opinion Survey resolution

SGA 3-12-18-2

SGA President Anna Owens and House Leader Drake Smarch address representatives in the Bovee University Center Auditorium on March 12.


Student Government Association’s March 12 meeting opened with silence.

The SGA meeting on March 12 in the Bovee University Center Auditorium began with a moment of silence in honor of the victims —James Eric Davis Sr. and Diva Davis — in the March 2 Campbell Hall shooting and those affected. SGA leaders also provided attendees with contact information for the university’s counseling services.

SGA President Anna Owens opened discussion in the house of representatives meeting.

“I wanted to ask how you felt the university responded to the situation (on March 2),” Owens said. “I’m often asked the opinion of the student body and this is obviously going to be on our minds for quite a while.”

Representatives expressed wanting communication as soon as the event happened. They mentioned that some students were walking on campus unaware of the shooting until the first Central Alert call at about 9 a.m. — half an hour after shots were fired in Campbell Hall.

Others mentioned disappointment in the original description of the suspect, James Eric Davis Jr., saying the ambiguous police description of a “black male” put all African American men in Mount Pleasant in danger. 

Howell junior Chelsea Thibodeau expressed concern regarding mental health services at the university.

“I love (Cenetral Michigan University) and I think it’s wonderful, but again, if the resources really were working, would this have happened?” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau also said the incident could have been prevented if police took Davis Jr. seriously when he originally contacted them.

“(Davis Jr.) was very clearly showing signs of needing help,” she said. “I have had experiences on campus with multiple professionals where I have discussed my mental health and they’ve said, ‘You’re fine,’ ‘That’s normal,’ ‘That’s OK.’”

Representatives also showed appreciation for the community, university staff and authorities in coming together to create a secure and supportive environment.

Grand Rapids freshman Daniel Dahlstrom appreciated the handling of Davis Jr.’s capture. 

“I wanted to commend (the authorities) on how they handled it when they caught him, especially in today’s climate between (authorities and) the African American community — how they apprehended him without using violence,” he said.

Student opinion survey legislation passes

House and senate discussed the Academic Affairs Committee’s legislation, “A Resolution to Make Amendments to the Implementation and Content of the Student Opinion Survey (SOS) at Central Michigan University.”

The piece supports the removal of gender identification on SOS forms and moves the survey to an online format. 

The resolution passed in the house with 92 for, three against and three abstaining from voting on the legislation. It passed in the senate with 15 for, zero against and one abstaining from voting.