Election Guide: CSG party platforms explained
The 2016 Central Student Government elections are March 23 and 24. Here’s everything you need to know about the three parties running for executive offices.
Party: Defend Affirmative Action Party
Who: LSA junior Keysha Wall and LSA sophomore Chalse Okorom
Platform: LSA junior Keysha Wall and LSA sophomore Chalse Okorom are running on DAAP’s executive ticket for president and vice president, respectively. The party's platform calls for double minority student enrollment, making the University a sanctuary campus, and the Administration to be more transparant of rape and sexual harassment cases. Much of the DAAP platform from previous years applies to the group’s current mission. In a recent debate hosted by The Michigan Daily, the candidates stressed the need for increasing minority enrollment at the University, pointing to the Texas 10-percent rule, which guarantees students in Texas high schools who graduated in the top 10 percent of their class admission to state universities. They have also proposed several other initiatives to increase diversity, equity and inclusion, such as removing standardized testing from the admissions process and expanding financial aid programs. The party also pushes for creating a safer, more inclusive campus atmosphere for all minority groups, including racial minorities and undocumented students, and has spoken about the need for greater accessibility to mental health resources.
FYI: In last year’s platform, DAAP called for the restoration of affirmative action practices. It is important to note that affirmative action was deemed illegal in the state of Michigan following a statewide vote in favor of ballot measure Proposal 2 in 2006, which bans the use of affirmative action in public college admissions in Michigan.
Who: LSA junior David Schafer and LSA junior Micah Griggs
Platform: On newMICH’s executive ticket is LSA junior David Schafer, running for president, and LSA junior Micah Griggs, running for vice president. The party’s platform emphasizes issues surrounding diversity, inclusion and student engagement. In terms of amplifying student voices, the party has urged for student presence on the Board of Regents and a semesterly meeting between regents and the University Council, a student governing board comprised of members from each degree program. Recently, the candidates have been stressing that a student regent would further several wellness initiatives, including the expansion of mental health resources and the addition of Counseling and Psychological Services staff members — a goal Your Michigan has publicly supported as well. The platform also proposes Q&A sessions with students, administrators, faculty, staff and the Division of Public Safety and Security. Both newMICH and Your Michigan have discussed the need for outreach to underrepresented communities such as Detroit, and newMICH expanded on this goal in their platform, calling for mandatory Intergroup Relations and identity training for Central Student Government Executive and Assembly members and in-state tuition for undocumented graduate students. Currently, undocumented students qualify for in-state tuition if they attended and graduated from a Michigan middle and high school, and enroll by 28 months after their graduation from high school.
FYI: Schafer is currently an LSA representative on CSG and assists in the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. Griggs is also an LSA student representative, and this year she was a member of the LSA Race and Ethnicity Review Committee, which was tasked with investigating the R&E requirement and making recommendations to improve it.
Also noticible is the debate surrounding the party's initiative to add a student to the Board of Regents, as the creation of a voting position on the board for a student would require amending the state constitution. However, in an interview with the Daily, Schafer noted that a non-voting position was also a possibility, saying that in that capacity, a student presence on the Board of Regents would be invaluable.
Party: Your Michigan
Who: Public Policy junior Thomas Hislop and LSA junior Cameron Dotson
Platform: Public Policy junior Thomas Hislop and LSA junior Cam Dotson are running on Your Michigan’s executive ticket for president and vice president, respectively. The party’s platform focuses on increasing the transparency of CSG and the inclusivity of the University Council, cultivating a strong sense of community across campus and making the University more accessible, beginning with incoming freshmen. Your Michigan’s five-step plan includes electing a freshman council delegate to the UC, updating meeting minutes regularly for UC, increasing collaboration between CSG and the UC, hosting UC meetings in different campus locations and allowing a diverse group of smaller student organizations to sit on the council. They've also highlighted plans aimed to create a more positive campus environment by uniting The Maize Rage and increasing school spirit — according to the party’s website, Hislop has already met with now-former Interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett and the Athletics Department to begin discussing the initiative.
FYI: Hislop is an elected representative on CSG and currently serves as chairman of the Ethics Committee, and Dotson is a representative in CSG and a leader on the Student Renovations Advisory Committee, a group involved in the upcoming Union renovations that are expected to be completed in 2018. He has been vocal about ensuring that the renovated Union have more appropriate, extensive spaces for mental health and student organizations.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article misstated the requirements for undocumented undergraduate students to receive in-state tuition. The requirements specify that students must have graduated from a Michigan high school and middle school, as well as enroll up to 28 months after graduation.