OUSC Update – Week of October 4, 2010

By Jake Thielen

OUSC passed a resolution in support of Chris Armstrong, student body president at the University of Michigan, and of the University of Michigan Student Assembly, during its meeting Monday afternoon.

Armstrong, who is openly gay, has been attacked by Michigan’s assistant attorney general, Andrew Shirvell, through Shirvell’s personal blog.

The resolution was sponsored by legislator Andrew Gustafsson, and co-sponsored by several other OUSC members.

“I feel like we need to gather all the support we can,” Gustafsson said. “Basically, Chris Armstrong is being cyber bullied, publicly attacked and being stalked. This is why we’re here to support him.”

Other legislators agreed with Gustafsson in his support of Armstrong.

“As students in academia, it is our responsibility to stand up for what’s right,” legislative affairs director Nessma Bashi said. “It is our responsibility to work to obtain a common good and to try to spread that common good.”

“The fact that a higher-up Michigan political person is attacking someone who never went out first and attacked him first is just wrong,” said student services director Brett McIsaac. “We’d also like other schools to be out there supporting us.”

A resolution supporting Armstrong was passed by Purdue University’s Student Senate. Similar resolutions are expected to be passed by other public universities in Michigan.

OUSC plans to send the resolution to the University of Michigan Student Assembly to demonstrate its support of the organization and its leadership.

Shirvell posted that Armstrong’s goal is “to promote the radical homosexual agenda at the University of Michigan, and to use his position to promote that cause.” Shrivell has demanded that Armstrong resign from his position because of his sexual orientation.

Armstrong is seeking a personal protection order against Shirvell, and his court hearing is currently scheduled for later this month.

Shirvell has since taken a personal leave of absence from the attorney general’s office.

Oakland Center update

Oakland Center director Richard Fekel gave an update on the Oakland Center. Fekel said the record for most foot traffic in the OC, which had stood since 2007, was broken last month.

“We set a new record for the number of pedestrians that we had in the building,” Fekel said. “We know that because we have electronic counters on all of our entryways.”

On Sept. 2, Fekel reported there were 16,322 people in the OC.

He said the normal foot traffic that the OC receives is between 10,000 and 11,000 people per day.

Fekel also said a renovation project on the southeast entrance of the OC will start in the spring.

“It will improve the egress and entrance into the building,” Fekel said. “It will be an area that’s identifiable from the center part of campus, because it will say Oakland Center outside, and will improve our handicap accessibility in and out of the building.”

Fekel said a cash-only copy station was added to go along with new electronics charging station at the OC welcome center.

Chartwells update

Gerald Gatto from Chartwells spoke about new services that are being offered.

Gatto said a new line was added to the Subway in the food court to reduce the backups, and that Subway is now open at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast.

Gatto also said a Peet’s Coffee location will be available in Kresge Library as soon as the location gains approval from the health department.

Gatto said opening day would be on Oct. 18 and that they were excited about having the additional venue.

“When finals come up, we’ll have our extended hours because of the traffic that’s going to be needed, so you’ll be able to get something to eat and some nice coffee to keep you awake,” he said.

Bookstore update

OU bookstore manager Debbie Ogg spoke about the progress of the textbook rental program.

“We think it went very well, and we’re not sure how much the word got out at the start of the semester,” Ogg said. “We started with 100 titles, and most of those are the gen-ed titles. Since this went over so well, we’re hoping to expand it in the winter to even more titles.”

Ogg said that whether adding more titles becomes an option will depend on the university and the book orders from professors.

Rental books are currently available for 45 percent of the new book price.

New OUSC Justice

Danish Ali was approved as a new OUSC justice.

Legislator Daud Yar said Ali is a biology major who plans to go into medical school. He also plays violin and viola in the school orchestra.

Legislator of the month

Legislator Josh Solomon was named as OUSC Legislator of the Month.

“He’s been really stepping it up, helping out Brandon [Gustafson] with focus groups, and a lot of help with PR for Jackie [Puuri],” administrative assistant Christina Quigley said.

Solomon will be awarded with $25 in Spirit Cash for being named Legislator of the Month.