Editor’s Note: Due to a conflict of interest, both of the Editorial Page Editors did not participate in The Editorial Board’s interviews with the candidates, the subsequent deliberation and voting on candidates or in the writing and editing of this editorial. Editorials represent the views of The Editorial Board, hosted within The Michigan Daily’s Opinion section.
The Michigan Daily Editorial Board voted to endorse Noah Zimmerman and Jackie Hillman of the EnvisionBlue party for 2022-2023 Central Student Government president and vice president in the election on March 30 and 31. While both parties running offer valuable perspectives, the specificity and breadth of EnvisionBlue’s platform sets them apart. It is paramount to have a CSG president and vice president who come into office with tangible initiatives that reflect the extensive scope of issues the incoming administration will encounter, and EnvisionBlue’s platform offers these policies.
With an emphasis on instituting pragmatic policies, EnvisionBlue’s platform consists of 30 action items and 15 advocacy initiatives. Zimmerman and Hillman aim to serve as a voice of the students while keeping their promises realistic and within the realm of CSG’s capabilities. This platform’s advocacy priorities emphasize the importance of both enhancing current CSG programming and creating new CSG programming. The candidates would like to create partnerships between CSG and upper-level diversity programs within the Spectrum Center, the Trotter Multicultural Center and advocacy groups to ensure CSG’s resources are serving all students. This platform also details the advancements of several specific programs designed to increase accessibility and affordability for students, such as creating a textbook donation program.
Considering the University of Michigan’s history of sexual misconduct, the candidates expressed their commitment to rebuilding trust with the administration and pre-existing organizations for preventing sexual assault. To do this, this platform advocates for an acceleration in SAPAC’s case manager–hiring process; as there are currently two case manager vacancies, this would allow SAPAC to more efficiently address the needs of the student body. Part of this platform’s sexual misconduct prevention initiatives also includes requiring any candidate for University president and future administrative positions to undergo extensive background checks specifically related to past cases of handling sexual misconduct. One of this platform’s 30 action items is to install a “Blue Light” outpost near the fraternities, a manageable change that will advance student safety on campus.
The Board’s evaluation of the candidates was twofold, considering not only the candidates’ stated platform but also their personal commitment to their goals. The duo is well prepared for office and the high-pressure positions they would be accepting. Zimmerman’s membership in CSG as a College of LSA representative gives him valuable knowledge on the inner workings of CSG, while Hillman’s experience with the California Senate empowers her with fundamental communication and organizational skills. In their presentation, both beamed while sharing their plans for the future of CSG and the students it represents, full of energy and drive to accomplish what they have set out to do.
Furthermore, both candidates understand the current social environment that they would be engaging in. Acknowledging how difficult these past two years have been for students and the campus, EnvisionBlue hopes to foster healing as a community to help the collective move forward together after such turbulent times. To create more camaraderie between students and CSG, the pair wants to bring greater transparency to CSG through “What is CSG?” days when students could learn about how their student government operates. While EnvisionBlue cannot fix all of the problems that currently exist on campus, prioritizing transparency is a great place to start.After careful review of the other campaigns and platforms, notably Diverse & Dedicated, who promise to bring more diversity to CSG and all that that entails, the Editorial Board voted to endorse EnvisionBlue because of their thorough platform and commitment to follow through with that platform. We are optimistic that they will be successful in their vision for CSG, restoring trust, facilitating healing and leading as the “leaders of the best” would do — with excellence.