For the past few weeks, whenever Kinesiology sophomore Justin
Laury walks through the Diag, he has to strategize about how to
pass through without being approached by a candidate running for
But when he is spotted, he just tries to get away. “I just
look the other direction and keep walking,” Laury said. If
necessary, he will even use the most drastic measures to escape.
“If I see them coming, sometimes I’ll pretend I’m
Yet talking to students on the Diag is one of the few avenues
left for the candidates to campaign. Last semester, the Michigan
Student Assembly passed a new regulation prohibiting students from
placing fliers in residence halls. Because of this, many student
candidates have adopted a more personal, one-on-one campaign
Students like Laury are not only finding it difficult to get
through the Diag, but also finding the new campaign strategies
intrusive. LSA freshman Beth Turk said passing though the Diag has
become annoying. “Sometimes the people (the candidates in the
Diag) will walk with you. They assume that you have the time to
hear them,” Turk said.
However, University Party candidate Paul Teske said the new MSA
regulation allows candidates to focus more on students’
needs. “It makes campaigning more of a personal issue, rather
than bombarding them (students) with a marketing strategy,”
said Teske, an LSA sophomore.
Defend Affirmative Action Party candidate and LSA junior Jessica
Bratus said she has campaigned by reaching out to students on the
Diag and in residence halls because of the new regulations. But she
does not agree with them. “It sucks. I feel like it is much
harder to get your name out,” she said.
MSA Rules and Elections Committee Chair Pierce Beckham cited
several reasons for the changes, including saving paper and cutting
down campaigning costs, as well as concerns raised by the custodial
Even with the new campaign strategies, candidates have still
been giving out fliers and following many reluctant students who do
not have time to talk with them.
Moreover, despite the new strategies and the campaigning in this
year’s elections, many University students just don’t
feel like there’s any point in voting.
Turk said of the elections and the fliers, “All I see are
just names. I don’t see why I should vote for them. I
don’t know any of their policies. So why should I
“(The campaigning) brings elections to my attention, but
it doesn’t make me want to vote,” said LSA sophomore
Sonia Sharma. “I feel like I have been seeing the same
fliers. The fliers are just annoying.”
But the barrage of campaign advertisements hasn’t yet
annoyed everyone. LSA senior Jonathan Clinton said he just ignores
the campaigning. Although he doesn’t find the advertising
very intrusive, at the same time, he doesn’t plan to vote.
“I’ve never been that interested in it.”
Engineering junior Sam Benton also doesn’t plan on voting
but for different reasons. “I don’t see that (MSA
elections) really matter. I don’t see it having any real
power to change anything,” he added. “I see fliers of
people saying there will be more buses or transportation. But I
don’t think the MSA has the power to make those
Many students said they either did not care about voting or they
did not know what they would be voting for. For some, the
campaigning has not only failed to encourage them to vote —
it has accomplished the opposite.
“It makes me not want to vote. All it is, is people
saying, they’re horrible, vote for us, instead of people
saying this is what is good about us,” said Kinesiology
senior Stacy Lerchenfeld
Some students who do plan to vote said they would only vote for
Art & Design junior Matthew Kaczynski said he will vote for
his friends. “I probably wouldn’t vote if I
didn’t know anyone (who was running),” he said.