LSA juniors Tyler Watt and Zackariah Farah will serve as president and vice president of the University of Michigan LSA Student Government for the 2021-2022 academic year, according to preliminary results from the March 24-25 elections.
Watt and Farah’s platform focused on five key areas: accountability, sustainability, diversity, solidarity and accessibility. Their overarching goals center around serving as advocates for students in both academic and non-academic spaces by working with other campus organizations.
Watt reiterated this goal in a statement to The Daily following notification of their victory. Watt said he and Farah’s first priority is interviewing new members for the Executive Board and transitioning information from old to new leadership.
“Once this is achieved, our policy points will be a primary focus,” Watt wrote. “We’ll work with committees within the government, as well as other student governments and organizations on campus, to make these goals into realities. I have no doubt in my mind that our ‘ambitious yet attainable’ goals will someday be brought to fruition, with a fair measure of grit and determination.”
Watt and Farah’s large-scale goals include working to institute an Endowment Advisory Council to oversee the University’s disinvestment in fossil fuels, formally announced at Thursday’s Board of Regents Meeting; pushing to repeal the $500 international student fee and establishing a working relationship with the Graduate Employees’ Organization. Their platform responds to concerns frequently heard among students, such as achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 — despite the goal of 2040 set by the President’s Commission for Carbon Neutrality — and demanding transparency in the U-M administration’s relationship with ICE.
In the areas of diversity and accessibility, Watt and Farah seek to subsidize the acquisition of VISA disability forms, advertise specifically to student organizations who work with communities of color while recruiting for LSA SG and collaborate with the One University Campaign to push for a more equitable distribution of U-M resources across its three campuses.
Watt and Farah received 425 votes, 55 more than their opponents, LSA junior Allison Goodsell and LSA sophomore Claudia McLean, out of the 1023 total students who voted. Goodsell and McLean ran a platform focused on internal LSA SG policies; improving the transfer, international and non-traditional student experience and making U-M more equitable and inclusive for all gender identities.
Goodsell and McLean said they focused on improving individuals’ academic and social experiences based on the issues they’ve viewed first hand while on LSA SG. Goodsell and McLean did not respond to the Daily in time for publication.
Public Health junior Riya Gupta, LSA SG’s election director, provided The Daily with the official election results at 12:33 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Watt will succeed LSA senior Selena Bazzi after she served as president through her senior year. Previously, Watt was an elected representative for LSA SG.
Farah will succeed LSA senior Josiah Walker after he served as vice president during his senior year. Previously, Farah was an elected representative and chair of TREES, LSA SG’s sustainability subcommittee.
Daily Staff Reporter Emily Blumberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.