Central Student Government funds Buses to Ballots initiative, hoping to increase voter turn-out

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 12:11am

Central Student Government President Daniel Greene speaks during the CSG meeting Tuesday evening.

Central Student Government President Daniel Greene speaks during the CSG meeting Tuesday evening. Buy this photo
Prashanth Panicker/Daily

The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government met Tuesday night to pass a resolution to fund the Buses to Ballots initiative and another to help fund the Career Center’s JCPenney Suit Up event.

The assembly also passed a resolution to recommend adding motion activated lights in academic buildings at the University. Shortly after the meeting began, CSG observed a moment of silence in memorial of 9/11.

The Buses to Ballots initiative was born out of the Big Ten Voting Challenge, the conference-wide push to increase student voter turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. Buses would take students to and from polling places from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Election Day in November in an attempt to increase student voter turnout.

The 2014 midterms only produced a 14 percent college student voter turnout, which students and administrators are eager to raise.

CSG Vice President Izzy Baer, an LSA junior, says this is a great opportunity to highlight and overcome barriers to voting for students.

 

“CSG is very excited to have the opportunity to support student voting accessibility on election day,” Baer wrote later to The Daily. “While it is vital for students to register and vote, there are difficulties — such as transportation — that are often not discussed. We see this as a positive step forward in increasing student voting turnout across the board this November.”

CSG President Daniel Greene, a Public Policy senior, discussed the positive implications that subsidizing transportation to the polls will bring.

“CSG is excited to uphold (University) President Schlissel’s Big Ten Voter Challenge and help improve voter turnout amongst Michigan students,” Greene wrote to The Daily following the meeting. “AR 8-009 makes voting less of a burden by addressing barriers created by some polling site’s off-campus locations. The funding allocation subsidizes student transportation to the polls, so students have guaranteed, direct transportation to their assigned polling stations.”

 

Greene also says CSG is dedicated to the student body’s interests and will continue to pass policies to achieve this.

 

“CSG remains committed to empowering student voices beyond campus, and I believe the resolutions helps Central Student Government embody the University’s mission to develop leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future,” Greene wrote.

 

Engineering junior Zeke Majeske was happy the resolution passed, but says these busing systems will bring out many students who only live in Ann Arbor for their educational career, swaying the votes against the permanent residents living in the city. He expressed his concern with this affair.

“I am afraid that the buses will bring lots of non-residents to polling places where they will vote in city elections,” Majeske wrote to The Daily. “I am happy the resolution passed, I just like to vote ‘no with rights’ on stuff if I think more needs to be said.”

The Career Center’s JCPenney Suit Up event is taking place September 30, and will be busing students to JCPenney. CSG also passed a resolution to help sustain the Career Center’s Clothes Closet for non-traditional sizes.

Other resolutions passed included the fall 2018 CSG budget plan, as well as a resolution to amend the CSG election code. Under this new code, students would not be able to endorse the representatives through social media platforms without filling out the official endorsement paperwork.