With elections starting today, 16 students are campaigning in hopes of securing 10 of the open representative seats in LSA Student Government.

LSA-SG President Anne Laverty wrote in an e-mail interview that this semester’s candidate pool is a diverse group reflecting a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The candidates, who range from freshmen to seniors, are focused on different issues in the areas of academics and student life, according to Laverty.

“The candidates have a variety of experience on LSA-SG, which only enhances the election process because this allows for a greater array of platforms and perspectives,” Laverty wrote. “I am enthusiastic to see such variety and know that any of these candidates have the capacity and passion to affect change on this campus.”

LSA sophomore Gabrielle Trupp, who is running for a representative seat on LSA-SG, said she’s excited about the large pool of candidates and expects that this will result in a large voter turnout.

“We’re expecting a huge voter turnout, more than last year, so it’ll be a close race and a good race,” Trupp said.

LSA freshman Tyler Hoffman, a candidate for a representative seat on LSA-SG, wrote in an e-mail interview that if elected, he will push for the installation of more water bottle refill stations around campus, especially in residence halls, in an effort to improve campus sustainability.

“I want to make student life easier and more enjoyable while making the campus more sustainable,” he wrote.

Hoffman added that his interest in student government began when he arrived on campus and it comes from his desire to help spur change. Hoffman wrote that though he is still new to campus, he feels his previous experience in high school student government will help him in the position.

“Although this is my first semester at Michigan, I have already attended a few general meetings, and I’m actively participating on the Communications Committee right now,” Hoffman wrote.

LSA freshman Kendall Johnson, who is also running for a position, wrote in an e-mail interview that she decided to run because she feels passionate about representing students and making sure their voices are heard. If elected, Johnson said she plans to help implement programs geared toward student health. As part of this initiative, she would plan seminars to educate students on health issues in addition to arranging for free miniature hand sanitizers and tissue boxes to be passed out to students.

Though this is Trupp’s first time running for an LSA-SG position, she said she has been involved with the organization since her freshman year when she got involved with LSA-SG’s Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment Subcommittee, or TREES.

Trupp said her position as vice chair of TREES has helped her realize the impact she can make working with members of LSA-SG.

“I would really like to continue being a representative on student government to give others a voice that they don’t have and also have my input in student government,” Trupp said.

She added that her election platform focuses on improving communication within LSA-SG and between LSA-SG and the student body. Trupp said she wants to start holding town hall meetings where students can ask questions and voice their opinions about LSA-SG initiatives.

“The things that we do as student government are for the students, so if they’re not happy about what we’re doing, then we’re not doing our job,” Trupp said.

Similarly, LSA-SG Vice President Jeffrey Larkin said he and other members of LSA-SG want to hold college-wide town halls and round tables to get student input on which measures the student government should focus on.

“LSA-SG is a great resource for all LSA students, and we’re always trying to strengthen and broaden that resource,” Larkin said.

Larkin said he is excited about the large candidate pool and the wide range of representation among existing student government members and new candidates. According to Larkin, this semester’s candidate pool is the largest in more than three years.

“It’s always nice to have a lot of people interested, and I think it shows that there are students that take a very vested interest in their education and obviously want to see things improve,” Larkin said.

Larkin added that because there are so many projects and initiatives — ranging from communication with constituents to academic projects and campus life — within the LSA-SG domain, there’s a place for everyone to get involved.

“I think that when you bring a wide range of ideas to the table, that’s what makes student government special in a sense because no two people are the same, and that’s what brings us different project ideas and a lot of perspectives on the work,” Larkin said.

The other candidates running for seats on LSA-SG did not respond to several inquiries from The Michigan Daily.

In addition to voting for candidates in this week’s election, LSA students will have the chance to answer three ballot questions regarding their experiences as undergraduates in the college. The ballot questions ask student views on a potential minor in the School of Art & Design for LSA students, what buildings students would want to see water bottle refill stations in and whether students would want to receive an automatic notification from Wolverine Access when grades are posted.

The election began last night at midnight and polls will close at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow. Students can cast their ballot at vote.umich.edu.

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