CSG and LSA declare fall election results

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 6:40pm

Central Student Government and LSA Student Government have tallied the final results for fall elections, respectively appointing candidates to positions as assembly representatives and elected representatives.

The University Elections Commission certified the results of CSG’s fall elections on Nov. 27, naming assembly representatives for eight schools and colleges across campus while Medical student Whit Froehlich was elected to the University of Michigan’s Police Department Oversight Committee.

Rackham student Sharon Hu won seats in the Rackham Graduate School’s and the School for Environment and Sustainability’s assemblies, and, according to the Elections Report, the UEC recommended Hu take the Rackham seat and the SES seat be left vacant because students in SES are also technically Rackham students. As a result, the commission found allowing a seat to SES would grant additional seats to members of the Rackham Assembly, in violation of the proportional representation mandated by the CSG Constitution.

Including Hu, only five of Rackham’s seven seats were filled by candidates who won clear pluralities of the vote. The final two seats were left open as a seven-way tie for the next-most votes, with each of the seven candidates earning a single vote.

LSA freshman Benjamin Gerstein won a seat in the LSA Assembly. Gerstein said incidents on campus early in the school year motivated him to run for CSG.

“We had a really, really intense first two and a half months on campus with the hate crimes towards African-American students and then the divestment resolution,” he said. “There’s just been a lot going on in terms of campus climate. I really thought it was a good time to offer a unique voice from an incoming freshman perspective about how CSG can use its power to improve campus climate and ensure that all voices in the student body are being elevated.”

Gerstein said he wants to promote mental health in his role as a representative and improve campus climate.

“We have Change It Up! and Relationship Remix specifically focused on sexual assault,” he said. “Incorporating possibly a mental health program into there or finding ways to integrate mental health education would be very valuable. In terms of campus climate, it’s a tough one because obviously you can’t change the minds of people. What you can do is you can work to make the University a safer place and more comfortable and inclusive place for all.”

LSA sophomore Selena Bazzi was also elected to a position as an LSA Assembly representative. Bazzi said she ran to promote “addressing issues directly affecting campus.”

“A representative position is a chance for me to shed light on the voices that go unheard, as well as adding diversity to the group with the efforts to make tangible change on campus,” she said. “I do anticipate challenges, especially due to differences in values. That is OK. As a representative, it is important that I consider the viewpoints of others rather than just my own.”

In results emailed to The Daily by LSA SG, 15 candidates ran to fill 12 vacancies; those who won the top 12 weighted vote totals received seats and will hold them until next fall's elections. Platforms for LSA SG candidates were available on the Facebook page. Representatives who won include LSA sophomore Brooke Lennox, who hoped to work with Services for Students with Disabilities, and LSA freshman Gurliv Chahal, who aimed to improve mental health resources.

“As with my involvement on the Health Committee of LSA SG, I hope to get more cold care packages, sleep kits, and informational pamphlets within residential halls," Chahal's platform read. "I hope to also work with housing administration to establish mental health staff positions to deal with students’ needs at a more convenient speed and location."

Out of the population of eligible voters, which includes all 17,075 LSA undergraduates, 916 voted. This translates to a voter turnout rate of 5.36 percent, an increase from last year’s fall elections, which saw 4.16 percent voter turnout.