GCDP Resolution in Support of Students at the University of Michigan Flint & Dearborn Campuses

Genesee County Democratic Party Resolution in Support of Students at the University of Michigan Flint & Dearborn Campuses

Whereas as active members of the Genesee County Democratic Party, we are incredibly proud that our state is home to the University of Michigan which has served, educated, and molded millions of Michiganders into the Leaders and Best, and has more than earned its title as the nation’s top public university;

Whereas the University of Michigan is one of the financially strongest public universities in the United States, with an Endowment Fund of over $12 Billion and over $4 Billion in unrestricted reserves, and with yearly excess cash flows from 2007 to 2017 averaging over $375 Million per year and over $500 Million each year for 2016 & 2017;

Whereas even with the overall wealth of the UM system, the UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn campuses continue to suffer from extreme budget shortages, reduced class offerings, and faculty layoffs, which reduce student support and often extends time to graduation;

Whereas Ann Arbor student graduation rates are 76% within 4 years and 91% within 6 years (class of 2013); Dearborn graduation rates are 16% within 4 years and 50% within 6 years (class of 2013); Flint graduation rates are 14.48% within 4 years and 46.17% within 6 years (class of 2012);

Whereas Dearborn and Flint students pay 80% of the tuition that Ann Arbor students pay, but Dearborn and Flint per-student funding by the University of Michigan is about one quarter of the resources it provides per Ann Arbor student for instructional support, financial aid, health services, and more;

Whereas Flint students take on almost three times, and Dearborn students take on twice as much debt (as a percentage of median family income) as Ann Arbor students;

Whereas the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion funds and Go Blue Guarantee that this University champions exist only on the Ann Arbor campus;

Whereas the medical services provided to Ann Arbor students are not made available on the Flint and Dearborn campuses;

Whereas the layered financial burdens of low-income and working students in Flint and Dearborn too often prevent them from utilizing study abroad programs;

Whereas we have always been proud of the University of Michigan’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the Dearborn and Flint campuses have proportionally higher populations of low-income students, working-class students, and students of color than Ann Arbor;

Whereas less than half of Ann Arbor students are Michigan residents; 94% of Dearborn students are Michigan residents; 92.6% of Flint students are Michigan residents; and 52.9% of Flint students are Genesee County residents;

Whereas the educational experiences of Flint and Dearborn students would be drastically improved by the Go Blue Guarantee, a broader spectrum of instructional support programs, and on-campus medical services;

Whereas, in failing to support them, the University’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion rings hollow;

Whereas the University has the funds to support these life-changing initiatives;

Whereas while the State has yet to fulfill its obligation to properly fund all of Michigan’s public universities, this is unlikely to happen until we support Governor Whitmer by electing Democratic majorities in the State Senate and the State House;

Whereas the University of Michigan’s President and Board of Regents are responsible to the entire university and are obligated to properly fund all of its three campuses irrespective of ongoing efforts to enhance statewide higher education funding for all universities;

Therefore Be It Resolved that we are calling on the University of Michigan to make annual investments  in the Flint and Dearborn campuses – the investments needed would be a tiny fraction of the University’s budget – that would allow these campuses to provide the Go Blue Guarantee to their students, proportional DEI funding for Flint & Dearborn, provide greater Flint and Dearborn faculty support, provide greater class offerings so more students can graduate within 4 years,  provide medical and legal services comparable to Ann Arbor, and provide more scholarships for study abroad;

Be It Further Resolved that as members of the Genesee County Democratic Party we are committed to reaching out to Democratic Parties across the state to support similar resolutions in support of University of Michigan students on Flint and Dearborn campuses.

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