youMICH is back this year with a platform that focuses on tangible, achievable goals that will affect the lives of students on campus. Our presidential candidate, Business and LSA junior Michael Proppe, has served as Central Student Government’s speaker of the assembly for a year and is the president of his business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. LSA sophomore Bobby Dishell, our vice presidential candidate, has served as an LSA representative since November and is the vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council Executive Board. As CSG members and leaders of student organizations, Proppe and Dishell understand that CSG works best when it works for the lives of the students. We aim to help with your student organizations, your campus community and your academics. We have already begun work on many of the initiatives laid out in this Viewpoint and cannot wait to continue this work during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Student organizations are the lifeblood of this campus, and CSG should do everything it can to aid and empower them. Allocating funding to student organizations is one of the most important functions of CSG, and one of the ways CSG can make an immediate difference in the lives of students. However, this year, the Student Organization Funding Commission has a smaller budget to work with and many organizations that have consistently relied on financial support from CSG are not getting funded. As president, Proppe will veto any budget that does not allocate at least 50 percent of CSG’s revenues to the Student Organization Funding Commission.
youMICH also will create a Student Organization “Sorting Hat” survey to help match incoming students with groups on campus. At orientation, new students will be able to indicate their passions, interests, organizations they were involved in during high school and types of organizations they’d like to join in college. Organizations can indicate what types of profiles match what they’re looking for, and CSG will put new students and organizations in touch with each other. Finally, our proposed Student Org Network — which will consist of issue-specific meetings of leaders, members of CSG and University administrators — will result in an unprecedented level of activism, enthusiasm and engagement at Michigan. Organizations can collaborate with each other, tap into CSG’s resources and work with administrators to make their goals a reality.
The MCard is the key to unlocking the campus community. It gets us into buildings, exams, sporting and social events, dining halls and so much more. But when you’re leaving the tailgate for the football game, it can be a minor headache to find your phone, keys, ticket, wallet and, oh yeah, your MCard. We’re working on an MCard app to eliminate the need to carry your MCard by incorporating it right onto your smartphone.
The campus community extends beyond the immediate campus, though — there are 43,000 students at Michigan, and more than 30,000 of them live in neighborhoods off-campus. Too often, we wake up to a University crime alert telling us that one of these students was assaulted on his or her way home late at night. Students are not being provided the safety they deserve. Our proposed off-campus bus route is a practical solution to this serious problem. We will work with the Department of Parking and Transportation Services to ensure a bus stop within a few blocks of every major student neighborhood.
The 24-hour café in the UGLi has been a huge success and important part of academic life on campus. This is a win for students — more caffeine to fuel those late-night cram sessions. This is also a win for the University — a profitable way to get students studying longer and harder. We propose extending this to the MuJo Cafe in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus. The caffeine-starved engineers and artists on North Campus deserve the same round-the-clock support that Central Campus students enjoy.
Finally, CSG has done well in supporting student entrepreneurship this year, and we want to keep that work going. We have proposed creating a five-year combined Bachelor’s and Master’s in Entrepreneurship program that will be housed in a residence hall. This will give the innovative and courageous students at Michigan a University-supported platform on which to thrive.
We hope these ideas excite you as much as they excite us, and we are always open to feedback. Our focus never leaves you, and our presidential, vice presidential and representative candidates will work to develop CSG to its full potential. As students at the nation’s premier public university, our student government should be second to none when it comes to helping the student body. We have selected passionate, hard-working candidates who genuinely want to bring to fruition all the things you want to see improved.
Laurel Ruza is an LSA sophomore.