On Friday, the three parties running executive tickets in this year’s Central Student Goverment elections discussed an array of campus issues — and highlighted where they disagree — at a debate hosted by The Michigan Daily.
All candidates were asked if CSG’s current yearly operating budget of $400,000 would be enough funding for each of their proposed initiatives, as well as how they planned to raise enough money if the current operating budget wasn’t enough. While newMICH focused on student involvement with the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents and increased collaboration between student groups as ways to ensure initiatives happen, the Defend Affirmative Action party centered their plan on making demands of the administration. Your Michigan, in contrast, stressed that they believed their plan is the only financially feasible platform in the race.
All candidates were asked if they had any plans to expand or change how CSG interacts with the University’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Center in any way. Your Michigan’s plan focused on Greek life students — both fraternity and sorority members — being trained by SAPAC in situations of bystander intervention. newMICH stated their plan was to train all incoming freshman on topics of consent, bystander intervention and gender inclusive language, while DAAP focused on administrative transparency within the organization to prevent rape and the cover up of sexual assault.
Your Michigan and newMICH were asked how their platforms differ, given that they touch on many of the same issues. newMICH claimed their goals were tangible and feasible, and that Your Michigan didn’t have the necessary experience that newMICH does. In a heated rebuff, Your Michigan stated newMICH’s plans weren’t feasible because they are too costly.
All candidates were asked how they would address issues of mental health among the student debate. Your Michigan said they had authored a resolution urging the University to prioritize Counseling and Psychological Services during the upcoming Michigan Union renovations, while newMICH focused on increasing the number of current CAPS counselors by eleven. DAAP took a more personal approach, with presidential candidate Keysha Wall, a LSA junior, sharing her experience of attempted suicide.
Your Michigan challenged newMICH’s use of the term “demand” in their platform in regards to increasing minority enrollment on campus, citing it promoting an admissions quota system, which has been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. newMICH responded by saying their demands aren’t quotas since they do not demand any particular rate for a minority enrollment increase. DAAP stated they do, in fact, demand a specific minority enrollment increase — 10 percent — arguing that affirmative action is inherently not a quota system.