newMICH — a Central Student Government party running against Your Michigan and the Defend Affirmative Action Party in the upcoming election — held a speak out in the Diag to spread awareness about the party Monday. 

newMICH co-chair Shamaila Ashraf, an LSA junior, said the speak out aimed provide an opportunity for University of Michigan students to talk to the representatives about what they wished to see in CSG next year.

“A couple of our main initiatives is putting the student voice back into the administration and University in total,” Ashraf said. “Another thing we want to do is connect the students back to CSG and offer them scholarships.”

Representatives spoke about various topics during the speak out, including increasing funding for mental health facilities and hydration stations during game days. Speakers also emphasized they are the only party advocating for a student representative on the Board of Regents.

newMICH campaign manager Anushka Sarkar, an LSA sophomore, said the speak out was meant to give students a fun setting to personally connect with CSG representatives.

“CSG is about representing the students of this body, not arbitrary power grab.” Sarkar said.

Other executive candidates include Public Policy junior Thomas Hislop and LSA junior Cam Dotson are running for president and vice president, respectively, with the Your Michigan, LSA sophomore Chalse Okorom and LSA senior Keysha Wall are representing DAAP.

Parties recently debated their platform points at a debate on Wednesday, as newMICH presidential candidate David Schafer, an LSA junior, repeatedly calling into question Hislop’s position at the University, which he said was priveleged. Hislop emphasized his prior leadership in Greek life as a way to bring about change.

Schafer and vice presidential candidate Micah Griggs, an LSA junior, also spoke out about inclusion within CSG at the rally.

“newMICH was created by passionate people from across campus who really think that it is time to make CSG and campus inclusive, representative and productive,” Griggs said.  

Sarkar also emphasized the speak out aimed to highlight what the University community wanted to see from student government, citing the Idea Box on the newMICH website. The Idea Box is a suggestion form that allows students to let newMICH know what they would like to see on campus.

Along with remarks from newMICH members, the event featured performances by dance groups such as Michigan Manzil and a capella groups, such as Angels on Call and 58 Greene. There were six groups in total, performing for 15 minutes each. The performances alternated with newMICH members detailing what they hope to achieve if they win the election.

LSA junior Samer Alkhalili, who attended the rally, said he was enthusiastic about the party, despite having a negative opinion of CSG in the past. 

“Honestly I’ve had mixed feelings towards CSG, and that’s because everyone approaches you talking about diversity and inclusivity,” Alkhalili said. “But this year I got aboard with newMICH because they are actually going to enact that change rather than throw buzzwords.”

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