Maize Rage, a new party, has entered the race for seats on the Michigan Student Assembly — joining a sparse field that also includes Students 4 Michigan and Defend Affirmative Action Party.

Candidates for the Maize Rage are Brian Chrzanowski for MSA president and LSA junior Nate Cesmebasi for vice president. Chrzanowski’s opponents in the MSA presidential race are Students 4 Michigan member and MSA Student General Counsel Jesse Levine and Rackham student Kate Stenvig, who is running on the DAAP ticket.

Levine’s running mate is LSA sophomore Alicia Benavides, and Monica Smith is DAAP’s vice-presidential candidate.

Besides the candidates for executive offices, 37 students are running for seats on the assembly.

By far, Students 4 Michigan is fielding the most candidates, which suggests the party will maintain its majority in MSA — at least until the next round of elections in November. DAAP is fielding the second highest number of candidates, with the race rounded out by Maize Rage and a handful of independents.

Despite Students 4 Michigan’s current majority in MSA and the large number of candidates it is supporting, Levine said he is taking the competition seriously.

“Alicia and I feel confident about our candidates but are also aware of our competition,” he said.

One source of competitors is Maize Rage, which draws all its candidates from the organization of athletic supporters that bears the same name. But the party is not focused on University athletics. Rather, it is mounting a campaign of change. Chrzanowski said he aims to change the emphasis of MSA.

“Their attention is on a lot of issues that don’t necessarily impact students directly,” Chrzanowski said. “We’d like to see a lot that attention turned to how they can help the students on campus.” He pointed in particular to what he called MSA’s focus on international events.

Stenvig took issue with Chrzanowski’s characterization of the student assembly.

“I would say the opposite,” she said. “We don’t live in a bubble. These issues directly affect students on campus in a broad and sweeping way.” She added that MSA does not ignore strictly campus concerns, attributing Chrzanowski’s opinion to critics of the predominately liberal agenda of MSA.

Still, Chrzanowski predicted his party will fare well with students who are disenchanted with MSA and feel it does not represent them.

The LSA sophomore was also critical of the way other MSA parties have conducted their campaigns.

“One of the things we definitely do not want to do is the dorm invasion tactic. That is one thing we will not do,” he said. Instead, Chrzanowski said, “Our primary goal is going to be encouraging people to actually vote.” He vowed to mount a positive campaign, saying “We’re not looking for a bloodbath here.”

As in last November’s elections, DAAP will again focus on increasing minority enrollment. Black enrollment declined 15 percent in the current academic year, the first since the new application was created.

“To have black enrollment drop 15 percent, this fight is just beginning,” Stenvig said.

The central goal of Stenvig’s party remains the defense of the University’s race-conscious admissions policies.

But in a possible move to attract traditional DAAP supporters, Levine said, “The leadership of Students 4 Michigan is committed to standing behind U-M’s admissions policies. In that respect, we do not differ much from DAAP.”

Stenvig said Levine’s position does not erase the need for her party.

“I’m glad that they’re taking that position,” she said, adding that her party has taken leadership on the issue.

Levine said his party has broad appeal.

“As a party, we aim to be representative of campus,” he said. “We’re running people with a variety of political viewpoints.” These candidates include College Republicans Chair Allison Jacobs, Saamir Rahman, member of Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality and Bart Kumor, who serves on MSA’s Peace and Justice Commission.

Stenvig criticized Students 4 Michigan’s selection of candidates as electioneering.

“We don’t want to compromise our position just to win a few votes,” she said. “That’s ridiculous.” She also denied that DAAP is a one-issue party.

“Even if they aren’t particularly focused on Ann Arbor, we are the people who will defend students’ rights on campus,” she said.

MSA campaigns begin on Wednesday, when Students 4 Michigan will have finalized its party platform.

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