In an earlier-than-expected announcement on Friday, Business School junior and CSG treasurer Shreya Singh declared her candidacy for president of Central Student Government as part of the newly formed youMICH party.
Singh said she had originally planned to make the announcement on Monday, but after The Michigan Daily obtained an e-mail that revealed her intentions, she confirmed her intentions to run for the presidency. The statement follows the announcement this week by Public Policy junior Kevin Mersol-Barg, an assembly member, that he will also be running on the OurMichigan party ticket.
The e-mail announcing Singh’s candidacy was a forwarded message from LSA senior Katy Tylus, vice president of Circle K, who Singh said will serve as chair of youMICH. According to a source, the e-mail from Tylus was sent to student leaders in the Indian community, asking them to meet with Singh to address her forthcoming campaign.
“In order to better serve the needs of the students on campus and students like you, we are meeting with prominent organizations prior for our formal declaration of Shreya’s candidacy,” Tylus wrote. “We would like to schedule a meeting with Shreya and your executive board, or your the membership of your organization, to have a conversation about how CSG can better serve your group.”
Though Singh said she was planning on announcing her candidacy on Monday, Tylus’s e-mail asked student leaders to schedule a meeting sometime next week prior to a “formal declaration of Shreya’s candidacy.”
Singh was an assembly representative during her freshman and sophomore years before becoming CSG treasurer. She said some of the projects she has worked on include trying to implement Saturday night meals at University dining halls and reforming the Student Organization Funding Committee.
Singh was one of the five candidates who vied for MForward’s presidential nomination on Feb. 3. MForward selected current assembly vice-speaker Aditya Sathi as its nominee, but Singh and Mersol-Barg, who also sought the nomination that night, have splintered from MForward and developed their own parties.
Singh, however, said she was never a formal member of MForward and ran with the Michigan Vision Party in representative elections during her freshman and sophomore years. She noted that MVP is currently “dissolved” and that it has no active members.
The source — who has ties to the University’s Indian community — said Singh’s candidacy draws voters from the same pool as Sathi.
“(Her candidacy) will definitely somewhat split the Indian vote,” the source said.
Singh and Sathi have both been involved with the Indian American Student Association.
In a Feb. 3 interview regarding MForward’s nominations for this year’s presidential race, Singh praised Sathi as a qualified candidate.
“Aditya will be a great choice for our presidential nominee.” She said. “I think the nomination process was very fair … (MForward) selected a good candidate.”
Singh said her praise for Sathi still rings true, but added that she and her running mate, LSA junior Ethan Hahn, chair of CSG’s LGBT Issues Commission, believe they will clinch the presidency in March.
“(Sathi is) going to be a great competitor,” she said.
Hahn said youMICH’s platform will focus primarily on “academics, student organizations and the campus environment.”
According to Hahn, potential programs that will highlight youMICH’s platform include increasing student awareness of financial aid, overhauling Maize Pages — a website cataloging student organizations at the University — and helping students find affordable off-campus housing through facilitating better dialogue with realtors and students.
Singh also announced that youMICH will be running a full slate of candidates for representative positions within CSG.
“(The candidates are) extremely qualified and extremely proactive individuals,” she said. “They have pretty great ideas that they want to implement.”
While Singh had yet to declare her candidacy, she said she had considered running for president for a long time.
“I definitively decided (to run) in September,” she said. “But it’s always been in the back of my mind as something that I would like to pursue.”
Singh added that her entrance into the race will spur healthy competition.
“I’ve always believed that the more competitive a race is, the best candidate will prevail,” she said. “I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how things play out this year, but it’s going to be very exciting.”
Singh said this year’s race, which now features three major candidates, will make the elections more visible to the student body.
“Maybe this will help us reach a 20-percent turnout (in the elections),” Singh said.