Tuesday night marked the official inauguration of LSA juniors David Schafer and Micah Griggs as the Central Student Government president and vice president of the 2016-2017 school year.
Schafer and Griggs ran on the newMICH executive ticket, defeating Public Policy junior Thomas Hislop and LSA junior Cameron Dotson of the Your Michigan party 3,811 votes to 3,752 votes. newMich’s platform calls for an increase in student voice within CSG, an expansion of current health and safety services to North Campus and the possible creation of a spot for a student on the Board of Regents.
The swearing-in ceremony took place in the CSG headquarters in the Michigan Union, during which LSA junior Jacob Podell and Law student Rick Stepanovic recited an oath of office for Schafer and Griggs to repeat before the assembly.
In his first executive communications speech, Schafer congratulated the assembly’s representatives and said he hopes the new assembly can come together and collaborate with their diverse backgrounds and ideas.
“Regardless of who you ran with or any other affiliation you’re coming into this body with, I think it’s so important that we do understand that we are all one assembly together,” he said. “We all share a common goal of improving the University of Michigan, not only for ourselves, but even more importantly for students who will come after us. (There are) a lot of new faces on the assembly, bringing new ideas and new initiatives, new experiences, organizational involvement, and the potential is huge.”
Schafer added he hopes representatives will persevere through any challenges they might face in office, and maintain momentum toward their goals
“Going forward, I’m challenging all of you to sustain the passion that you ran on and the vision you ran on and the work you promise to do, because this isn’t going to be easiest experience, and Micah and I are are speaking from having served on the assembly last year,” he said.
He also challenged the body to work to create more student participation on campus.
“There are people who inevitably hate CSG, even if they don’t know what CSG does or what you do specifically,” he said. “But I’m challenging you to challenge them to get involved, to join a commission, to come to meetings to voice their concerns. Never forget that the work you do really matters.”
Assembly members were also sworn in Tuesday, during which LSA senior Noah Betman was re-elected speaker of the Sixth Assembly.
Betman noted that as speaker of the past assembly, he had made progress on increasing transparency by encouraging resolutions and meeting minutes to be posted online more promptly and making meeting agendas public. In the coming year, he said he’s planning on focusing on several potential areas for improvement, such as pushing for more community participation in legislative committees.
Engineering junior Tania Haddad was elected vice speaker. The assembly also nominated and elected the chairs and vice chairs of the legislative committees.
Now-former CSG President Cooper Charlton, an LSA senior, said that he was proud of the progress CSG made this year, and he looks forward to seeing what the next leadership team will do.
“I’m very grateful that we were able to get everything finished we said we were going to do,” he said. “I hope we took a step forward this year building trust back with students. I hope CSG will truly be viewed as an ally, advocate and resource for students on campus. It’s up the leaders of next year to continue that vision.”
The 2016-2017 Legislative Committee Members are as follows:
Vice Speaker of the Sixth Assembly: Engineering junior Tania Haddad
Chair: Engineering senior Kathryn Culver
Vice Chair: LSA freshman Seth Schostak
Chair: LSA sophomore Patrick Mullan-Koufopoulos
Vice Chair: LSA junior Max Rothman
Chair: LSA junior Lakshman Mulpuri
Vice Chair: LSA sophomore Charles Callis
Chair: Rackham student Jared Ferguson
Vice Chair: Rackham student Ramon Martinez
Executive Nominations Committee
Chair: LSA junior Andrew Simor
Vice Chair: Education junior Francesca Ciaramitaro
Chair: Rackham student Trevis Harrold
Vice Chair: Rackham student Andrew Snow
In an interview after election results were released in March, Schafer said that he was honored to be elected and excited to work with all of the representatives.
“We are just humbled — humbled that thousands of students have put their trust in us, and they believed in us, and I think that it can not go unnoticed that there are so many students who voted for the first time in a Central Student Government election during their tenure here at the University because they hoped and believed in what we had to say and what we stood for,” Schafer said. “We are excited to work with every single individual, of all parties.”