University Council unanimously votes in student bill of rights

Following a unanimous vote at the Oct. 7 University Council meeting, the MSU student bill of rights was officially adopted.

The bill of rights has been destined for success since 87 percent of students voted in favor of it last spring. When the student body voted on the issue once more alongside the 2015 Homecoming ballot, support grew to 91 percent.

Levi Birky, ASMSU president as of Oct. 1, represented ASMSU at the University Council meeting. “We aren’t creating new policy,” Birky said, “We’re just putting it in a finite document.”

The new bill of rights doesn’t actually provide any new ‘rights’ for MSU students. Instead, it serves as a document that outlines what students have the right to, rather than the Student Code of Conduct which defines what students can not do.

One of the original writers, student Dillion Haskell suggested the idea to current ASMSU Senate President Josh Soares and former ASMSU Senate Vice President Billy Dove over breakfast. “We felt that many students weren’t always aware of their rights,” Haskell said, “and we felt it necessary to help make many of them more easily available to students and the administration. Our primary motivation was to take various rights students had from a number of other sources and combine them into one clear document.”

Almost a year later, that conversation has evolved into official policy. “We expected a unanimous vote,” Soares said, “and that’s what we got.” Soares continued, “[The bill of rights] was just something that had to happen, and we just happened to be the ones who wrote it.”