Readying themselves for the March 19 and 20 elections, representatives of the Michigan Student Assembly passed a number of resolutions last night allowing students to complete online surveys when voting for candidates.

At last night’s meeting, the assembly agreed to post ballots seeking student opinions on the University’s race-conscious admissions policies, on the establishment of a human rights center at the University and on the extension of the Newspaper Readership Program it launched last semester.

“People on MSA always pretend they know how students feel,” said Kinesiology Rep. T. J. Wharry, who sponsored the resolution creating the admissions policies ballot question. “Nobody ever asks the students how they feel.”

Wharry’s ballot allows students to support, disapprove or request more information on the admissions policies.

Previously at each election, MSA posted online ballots that poll students on issues pertinent to the University. The results of the surveys are often delivered to the University Board of Regents for evaluation, MSA Treasurer Liz Mullane said.

Earlier in the semester, MSA voted to support the creation of a University human rights center intended to educate students about human rights issues in addition to securing scholarships and internships for them.

“If we get overwhelming support, my plan is to send those results along with the resolution that was already passed by MSA in support of a human rights center to administrators across campus,” Mullane said.

“A lot of other Big Ten and Ivy League schools have (a center),” she said.

The final ballot proposal requests that students vote on the continuation of the Newspaper Readership Program. Last semester, the program gave students free access to major news publications including USA Today and The New York Times.

For the upkeep of the program, MSA has suggested a $2 increase in the student activities fee – a measure that voters will examine on the ballot.

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