By Kristen Fedor, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 27, 2014
LSA juniors Natasha Dabrowski and Corey Walsh were elected president and vice president, respectively, of LSA Student Government for the 2014-2015 academic year. With a roughly 15-percent turnout, 2,498 LSA students voted in the March 26-27 election.
The election was the first contested LSA-SG executive race in five years, making candidates take a much more active role in external campaigning.
Dabrowski said she and Walsh are ecstatic to get started in their new roles.
“We’re now honored to be able to serve the organization that gave us so much since freshman year in this new role and empower new leaders and new progress,” she said.
Walsh said he is ready to begin working on initiatives.
“We’re most excited to really start to get to work on a lot of the projects that we set out to accomplish over the next year in terms of student life, academics and beyond,” Walsh said.
Dabrowski said external campaigning helped raise student interest in LSA-SG. She added that overall campus involvement in current CSG elections contributed to the increased attention to all of student government.
“The campus is really gathering around these elections,” she said. “There are lots of different parties and lots of people running.”
LSA junior Kendall Johnson, current LSA-SG vice president and presidential candidate, said it was important that students had a diversity of choices while voting.
Election Director Melissa Burns said the campaigning was free of infractions.
LSA senior Sagar Lathia, current LSA-SG president, said the friendly working atmosphere in LSA-SG did not suffer due to the increased campaigning. He said the absence of parties helped keep elections from interfering with the group’s work.
“Because of the culture of our organization, I’m proud to say both groups have been very cordial with each other,” he said.
While he has enjoyed his time leading LSA-SG, Lathia said all four candidates have and will continue to be assets to student government in the transition of power.
Dabrowski is currently already on the Executive Board of LSA-SG as academic relations officer. In this role, she chairs the Academic Affairs Committee. In the past, Dabrowski worked on the Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment Subcommittee and Student Life Committee of LSA-SG.
Walsh is the current counsel on the Executive Board. He has been active in LSA-SG since he worked on the Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment Subcommittee as a freshman. He was later elected chair of that subcommittee and previously served on the Curriculum Committee for the College.
Dabrowski and Walsh will focus on specific goals regarding academic projects and new student life initiatives. A key point of their platform is to make course evaluation data public for students to use while choosing courses.
“We hope to empower students to take ownership of their education,” Dabrowski said.
Another goal outlined in their platform is to reevaluate the current LSA Race and Ethnicity requirement to broaden the program and include courses on Intergroup Relations.
Regarding student life initiatives, Dabrowski said she and Walsh want to address current campus climate by fostering collaborative dialogue between student groups.
Johnson and LSA junior Allie Hammond, vice presidential candidate, both active members of LSA-SG, lost the election.
In addition to serving as vice president of LSA-SG, Johnson is also a representative on the LSA Curriculum Committee and Michigan Union Board of Representatives.
Hammond is current LSA-SG secretary and has served as an LSA-SG representative in the past as chair of the Student Advisory Board to Instructional Support Services Committee. Hammond worked with the Diversity Affairs, Student Life and Academic Affairs Committees of LSA-SG.
Johnson and Hammond ran on a platform that focuses on increasing diversity, student organization support, student-alumni network connections and engagement in technology.
Before the election results were revealed, Johnson said she hoped to increase communication with student organizations across campus by instituting weekly LSA-SG coffee chats. Additionally, Johnson said renovation and expansion of gender-inclusive bathrooms would have been another main goal of the next year.