By Giacomo Bologna, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 10, 2013
Another entrance into the fray widens the race for Central Student Government president and vice president to four duos, but the other three tickets come from political parties — youMICH, forUM and momentUM.
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LSA junior Scott Christopher, the president of MPowered, and LSA freshman Ethan Michaeli, a CSG intern, announced Sunday their bid for CSG president and vice president as independent candidates.
A relative newcomer to student government, Christopher became the inaugural chair of the Entrepreneurship Commission when it was formed this fall. He had been approached by all three parties to discuss entrepreneurship’s role in CSG next year, but said he wanted to expand his role beyond entrepreneurship while still maintaining its mindset.
“Ethan and I both have the entrepreneurial spirit ingrained in us and the benefit of being an entrepreneur is you get things done very quickly,” Christopher said. “I think we’ve seen that with (Parikh) this year — getting a lot more done than people thought he could as a student body president.”
Christopher and Michaeli have numerous points of their platform already worked out, though they have yet to release a formal version.
With University President Mary Sue Coleman set to step down in 2014, Christopher said it’s important that students’ opinions regarding the next president are heard. He would survey students on what qualities they would like in a University president. Christopher said he also supports having a student representative on the Board of Regents — a campaign promise from the platform of forUM.
Christopher said he would also like to start an international career that would seek out companies willing to sponsor temporary visas to allow highly specialized foreign nationals to stay in the United States after graduation.
While youMICH called for a 24-hour cafe on North Campus, Christopher said he would rather address food quality. Christopher also pointed out that there was a 24-hour cafe on North Campus several years ago, but it closed down due to low demand.
Christopher said he would like to see some of the food carts in Ann Arbor, such as the student-owned cart Beat Box operate on North Campus when Mark’s Carts closes in the winter.
Another issue requiring attention is cell phone service on North Campus in buildings like the Duderstadt Center, Christopher said, and a solution would be financially feasible.
In terms of campus safety, Christopher said they would like to add features to the current University of Michigan smart-phone app, including a “blue-light” virtual panic button that automatically alerts University Police and provides the exact location of the student.
Christopher also said Counseling and Psychological Services is in need of serious improvement.
“(CAPS is) very understaffed right now and (we’re) really trying to look at reforming that system.”
Christopher added that students need a more responsive system that allows them to be seen more quickly and more often.
“I’ve heard of stories from students at times where they went into CAPS. At the end of the counseling, they said, ‘We don’t think you need another appointment, you did a good job, have a nice day,’” he said. “That should be the student’s decision.”
Possible solutions Christopher suggested were an online scheduling system and increasing the number of staff working in CAPS.
Michaeli identified smaller, but more specific problems that their administration would seek to fix as well. Improving the quality of dining hall food — including better options for vegetarian students — and lengthening the hours dining halls are open are goals.
Michaeli said he also wants to work with Maize Pages to make keywords and specific interests more searchable so students can find clubs more easily.