By Giacomo Bologna, Staff Reporter
Published February 6, 2013
On Monday, the student government political party youMICH extended its presidential nomination to LSA junior Chris Osborn, the current Central Student Government treasurer. Osborn has yet to accept the nomination.
In last year’s election — the most contested in years — youMICH took 23 seats in the CSG assembly and nearly won the presidential election. But youMICH’s presidential candidate, Business senior Shreya Singh, lost to Business senior Manish Parikh by fewer than 150 votes.
Before serving as treasurer, Osborn was a representative on the CSG assembly, where he served as the chair of the finance committee. He said he is still mulling over the offer.
“I’m still considering it. There’s a lot of things to consider. I haven’t had enough time to think either way,” Osborn said.
Laurel Ruza, the chair of youMICH, said she often works with Osborn through the Student Organization Funding Commission, where she serves as secretary. She said the decision to extend the nomination to Osborn was made with his prior CSG experience in mind.
“I think that we all just saw Chris’s leadership ability in his role currently and his past roles,” Ruza said. “We also saw how Chris really cares about CSG, and he cares about the institution and he would like to improve the institution.”
CSG President Manish Parikh also spoke well of Osborn.
“He is a good treasurer, a good friend and a great leader and a very kind-hearted human being,” Parikh said. “(Osborn) has served this organization very well. He’d be a great leader in any capacity and in any position in this organization.”
When initially asked if Osborn had been nominated by youMICH, Ruza denied that the party had made any decision regarding a presidential candidate, despite Osborn’s claim that he had been offered the nomination.
“We have not embarked on that process yet,” Ruza said at the time. “To our knowledge, we have not nominated anybody for that position yet. We have a certain set of bylaws as a student organization that we have to follow in order to nominate a candidate and to run that candidate.”
Ruza continued to say Osborn was “briefly” at youMICH’s meeting on Monday and that no other potential candidates attended, but added that youMICH was still looking at others.
After speaking with Osborn, Ruza clarified her remarks, blaming a misunderstanding of the term “nomination.”
“I think there was a miscommunication in terms of what I interpreted as ‘nomination,’” she said. “When I spoke of nominating, I meant running with youMICH and currently being the youMICH candidate. However, that’s not how (Osborn) took it.”
She said offering the nomination to a potential candidate doesn’t mean nominating a candidate.
“On Monday, when we did speak with Chris, we did offer him the youMICH nomination in terms of if he would like to run with us,” she said. “However in terms of who we’re running as candidates and if we’re running (Osborn), there have been no formal decisions if that is actually going to happen or not.”
She said the only thing separating Osborn from being nominated would be his rejection.
There was also confusion about how long Osborn has to accept the nomination, but Ruza said the misunderstanding was inconsequential.
“If (Osborn) wanted to wait the weekend ... I think we’d be open to letting him (have) the extra day or two,” she said.
"YouMICH is in violation of its own constitution by not having already nominated presidential and vice presidential candidates. Its constitution — which was uploaded to Maize Pages in October — states that those candidates are to be chosen “no later than the last week in January.”
Ruza said that aspect of the party’s regulations should be reviewed.
Despite being in violation of its constitution, youMICH is unlikely to face any substantive response from the Central Student Judiciary, according to CSG general counsel Lukak Garske.
Garske prefaced his statement, saying that CSG hasn’t overseen student organization registration in several years. He added that for the CSJ to hear the case, a student would have to file a suit against youMICH claiming harm.
The prerequisites for a case’s consideration make it likely it would not likely go further than pretrial, Garske said.