ASNMU Update – ASNMU discusses attending SAM conferences via webcam

Margaret Ylitalo

Arts and Sciences representative Jeremy Cilc said he went to April Student Association of Michigan (SAM) conference to gauge whether it is a legitimate use of students’ money at the Monday meeting.

“I have to say, I’m not entirely impressed with it. It’s not a terrible organization, but they do need to work on their infrastructure, the structuring … overall, I would push for teleconferencing. I honestly don’t feel good spending students’ money on this organization,” Cilc said.

Cilc said he wants to take a financial break from SAM and attend the meetings via teleconference until they restructure and encouraged other representatives to attend SAM meetings to see what the organization does.

“Michigan State made a strong point that I took note of. MSU spent $7,000 on our weekend, and they had nothing to bring back,” Cilc said.

Off-campus representative Dani Thoune said Michigan State paid for all of the food at the conference, which was not complimentary at the hotel.

“They made that choice going into it that they’d be spending this money,” Thoune said. Thoune said in the past they’ve stayed at the Ramada or a hotel with continental breakfast to avoid some of the cost, and off-campus representative Alysa Diebolt said MSU’s spending is “a total outlier;” the most another university has spent was $1,300, Diebolt said.

“I completely agree that it was MSU’s choice to spend the money, but they were expecting results,” Cilc said, “and they didn’t get their results. So, if I was looking at this as corporate stockholdings, I’d take my money out.”

Thoune said MSU isn’t getting much out of the conferences because MSU doesn’t show up to the conferences, and in order for a university to get enough out of a conference, it needs to participate. Diebolt also said  this conference was the election conference, so there was not a lot of time for discussion; much of the conference revolved around elections.