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CMU's ethics and Title IX advocacy targeted in SGA resolutions


Senate leader Joshua Moody leads discussion at a meeting of Central Michigan University's Student Government Association Senate in the University Center on Sept. 30, 2019.

Two resolutions were presented to Central Michigan University’s Student Government Association at its Nov. 11 meeting. Senators voted to continue discussion on both resolutions next week, when they will both be eligible to be voted upon.

The first resolution, written by membership director Brett Houle, ensures “ethical campus partners and initiatives,” citing the presence of a Chick-Fil-A food truck at this year’s homecoming game and the Nov. 5 performance of the Jordan World Circus at Finch Fieldhouse as offensive partnerships.

Chick-Fil-A is noted in the resolution as having donated approximately $1.8 million to anti-LGBTQ groups, according to 2017 tax filing reports.

Charges of animal mistreatment against Jordan World Circus elephant vendor Brett Carden and tiger vendor Adam Burck were also cited. A petition by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) enumerates many citations for animal mistreatment against Carden’s family, and Burck is reported keep tigers in cages at all times when they are not performing.

SGA meetings take place 7 p.m. every Monday in Bovee University Center Auditorium and are free for all students to attend.

“I think that having something like that on campus is completely against anything that’s humane,” Senator Taylor Dibble said.

This year, CMU is offering an alternative winter break, “Ending Animal Exploitation,” during which students will “protect the lives of previously exploited animals through rescue, education, and advocacy.” 

That’s where Houle said CMU contradicts itself: working against animal exploitation while subsidizing it.

Senators made a last-minute addition when governmental affairs committee chair Ashlyn Pinter suggested that Aramark, who caters CMU’s campus dining halls, be added to the list of offending partners. Aramark operates three “direct provision” centers in Ireland, where asylum seekers are reported to live in substandard conditions for lengthy periods of time, sometimes years. 

Last year, Aramark privately apologized after a mother who had lived in one of their centers for four years was refused milk and a slice of bread to give her sick child.

The second piece of legislation called for “more awareness, comprehensive education, advocacy, and services” regarding CMU’s approach to Title IX, a law which prohibits discrimination based on sex in any federally-funded education program. 

The resolution is a modification of a generalized resolution which Vice President Lyndi Rose drafted with representatives of other student governments Saturday at a United Student Governments Conference at Saginaw Valley State University. 

Rose briefed SGA members last week about changes to the law proposed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and gathered their thoughts on how CMU can improve the visibility of its resources. Senators expressed support for a centralized set of links to resources for victims of sexual aggression similar to one available on Michigan State University's website.

Rose said that she will be meeting with interim Title IX coordinator Mary Martinez this week, and that Martinez will be at the Nov. 18 meeting to discuss the law.