By Amrutha Sivakumar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 25, 2013
As the Central Student Government candidates gear up for their final push during election week, the candidates for LSA Student Government are hard at work prepping for their own contest in which students of the University’s longest college will have the chance to elect the leaders of their own student government.
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Business and LSA junior Sagar Lathia and LSA sophomore Kendall Johnson are running unopposed for the position of president and vice president, respectively. LSA senior Kevin Pohl, LSA-SG’s external relations officer, said multiple parties approached him earlier this year with the intention of running candidates. However, Lathia and Johnson were the only ones who submitted election materials on time.
Though Lathia said running unopposed eased the election process, he thinks competition would be beneficial to LSA-SG.
“I think it is corrosive to the election process,” he said. “Hopefully, in the next year we can change the culture of LSA-SG so that multiple groups of candidates want to run.”
He added that additional candidates would add authenticity to the contest.
The competition has expanded in the LSA-SG representative elections, as 15 candidates will vie for the nine available seats.
On March 18, LSA-SG hosted its annual candidates’ debate where hopeful representatives and executives were given the opportunity to reflect upon and answer questions pertaining to their individual platform.
During the debates, Lathia and Johnson said their administration would work to increase the transparency of student government, connect LSA-SG with the student body better and help students better understand the value of a holistic liberal arts education.
Only three of 15 candidates participated in the debate. LSA sophomore Amirul Amirudin, LSA freshman Kelsey Pridemore and LSA freshman Matan Skolnik had similar platforms to Lathia and Johnson. Skolnik added that their similar visions for LSA-SG were a testament to the fact that their common goals are really important.
Pohl said diversity and outreach were addressed by many of the candidates in their platform statements. While candidates in previous years had similar aims, Pohl said he was optimistic this year there would be more “specific, tangible goals” from the candidates.
One of LSA-SG’s largest undertakings in the last year has been accumulating an archive of past syllabi where students can view course details before registering. While several syllabi are already available on Wolverine Access, Pohl said it would be up to the new administration to ensure that this project is completed.
Johnson added that continuing the pre-existing work of LSA-SG would be a top priority for their administration in order to ensure an easy transition between their own ideas and those of the current student government.
“We are going to continue our connections with administration and students,” Johnson affirmed.
In addition to the the candidate selection form, the LSA-SG ballot contains a referendum on IT systems at the University. After voting for representatives, students may vote on desired updates to CTools and the online LSA Audit System through the Newnan Advising Center website.
Ballots for all elections will open Wednesday and will remain open for 48 hours. All LSA students will be able to vote for their representatives through the unified voting website, www.vote.umich.edu.