Central Student Government executive elections have arrived, and the University community has a host of candidates and platforms to consider.
Running on The Team’s executive ticket are LSA junior Will Royster and LSA sophomore Matt Fidel, who will vie for CSG president and vice president, respectively.
Royster is currently the Black Student Union’s academic concerns chair; Fidel previously served on the Social Responsibility Committee for the now-disbanded Sigma Alpha Mu.
The Team is CSG’s newest party, and its platform focuses on inclusiveness and uniting the student body. One of its priorities is on-campus diversity, which The Team plans to target by advocating moving the Trotter Multicultural Center to a more accessible location, among other initiatives.
The Team has also announced plans to increase CSG transparency by creating a text-message hotline, interactive newsletter and CSG-staffed coffee cart in Mason Hall.
In a prior interview with The Michigan Daily, Royster said The Team wants to focus on empowering other students.
“What we really care about is empowering the campus through cross-campus collaboration,” Royster said. “Even our motto, ‘Our Campus, Our Community, Our Commitment, Your CSG,’ we really mean that.”
Fidel said he and Royster want to focus more on change and less on politics.
“We aren’t worried about the credit; we’re worried about seeing change,” he said.
Make Michigan is returning to the CSG elections for a second year, after its ticket successfully earned Public Policy senior Bobby Dishell the presidency and secured several legislative seats.
This year, LSA junior Cooper Charlton and LSA sophomore Steven Halperin are running for president and vice president, respectively.
Charlton is currently the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and Halperin sits on the CSG assembly as an LSA representative.
LSA senior Annie Pidgeon, Make Michigan campaign chair, said in a February interview with the Daily that the party aims to heavily involve the campus community in CSG affairs.
“We’re trying to hear as many different voices as possible in order to continue to be able to create such positive change on campus as we’ve done in the past,” Pidgeon said.
A major part of the Make Michigan platform is improving campus safety by launching a new safety mobile application.
Make Michigan also wants to address diversity by revamping the current Race and Ethnicity Course Certification requirements. To further unify the student body, Make Michigan aims to expand the Wolverine Support Network and further connect alumni with students abroad.
In the recent vice presidential debate, Halperin discussed how his experiences with the Summer Bridge Program — a program designed to give students from various backgrounds an earlier start on campus — inspired his drive for a unified campus.
“Our classroom was so united, and so passionate that it really felt like family,” he said. “I want to bring a family sense to the campus. I believe that we can do this.”
Defend Affirmative Action Party
DAAP — the political branch of the affirmative action advocacy group BAMN — will run LSA junior Keysha Wall and LSA sophomore Katie Kennedy as its presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively. The party aims to improve campus diversity by providing onsite admissions within Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Wall said DAAP will provide a space for students to speak openly about issues they have faced on campus.
“DAAP has provided a platform for students like me and other students who want to mobilize to be able make real positive change on campus,” she said during the presidential debate.
During last week’s debate, Kennedy added that it is vital for the University to improve campus diversity.
“We have the responsibility to provide an opportunity for students to thrive socially and academically,” she said. “Affirmative Action has clearly put the minority enrollment rate severely at risk and the lack of diversity on campus is taking away from the value of our education.”
Students can vote today at vote.umich.edu.
Party: The Team
Who: Will Royster and Matt Fidel
Platform: The Team has emphasized diversity, touting a program to bring underrepresented high school students to campus and pledging to work with the administration on finding a more accessible location for the Trotter Multicultural Center. The party is also promoting an increase in CSG transparency by promising to instate a text-message CSG hotline and a monthly, CSG-staffed coffee cart in Mason Hall.
FYI: Royster lacks direct CSG experience, but is currently the Academic Concerns Chair for the Black Student Union. Fidel, an LSA representative in the CSG assembly, was formerly a Social Responsibility Committee member for the now-disbanded Sigma Alpha Mu. The Team earned, with hesitation, an endorsement from The Michigan Daily. “The Michigan Daily’s editorial board is endorsing The Team because their platform most thoroughly addresses issues of diversity on campus by working with student groups such as the Black Student Union; issues of mental health by expanding CAPS to more locations; and issues of sexual assault by providing faculty training.”
Party: Make Michigan
Who: Cooper Charlton and Steven Halperin
Platform: Make Michigan is promoting several initiatives, including the installation of more off-campus lighting, working to connect admissions offers with financial aid packages and continuing work to implement a school-wide honor code. The party would also like to redefine the course requirements for Race and Ethnicity certification, and make SEED program training (focuses on diversity and inclusion) mandatory for faculty.
FYI: Charlton is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, but like Royster, lacks direct experience on the CSG assembly. Conversely, Halperin sits on the assembly as an LSA representative, and is also the vice president of recruitment for the Interfraternity Council. Current CSG president Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, endorsed Charlton and Halperin in a Facebook post, writing that he is “Proud and excited to endorse Make Michigan … as a party, they are truly committed to their work, demonstrate an understanding of the role and how to truly #MakeTheDifference.”
Party: Defend Affirmative Action Party
Who: Keysha Wall and Katie Kennedy
Platform: The party demands that the University administration “double minority student enrollment now.” Suggested methods for doing so include onsite admissions in Detroit Schools and adopting the state of Texas’ 10 percent plan, which guarantees a space at University of Texas schools for all in-state high school students graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class. University administrators have said this plan is not feasible.
FYI: Neither Wall nor Kennedy have prior CSG experience. DAAP is an auxiliary branch of the affirmative action advocacy group, BAMN, which lobbies for minority rights and immigrant rights. Note that affirmative action is currently outlawed in the state of Michigan.
Daily News Editor Michael Sugerman contributed reporting.