University students approved a $1 increase in mandatory fees by a vote of 2,309 to 1,779, and Blue Party candidates won 13 of the 22 seats up for election last week on the Michigan Student Assembly.
“I think it shows clearly students are in step with the Assembly in thinking student organizations are underfunded,” said MSA Treasurer Josh Samek. “The assembly hopes and expects Vice President (E. Royster) Harper will recommend the fee increase to the regents.”
MSA and LSA Student Government members are hoping to make a presentation at the January or February Board of Regents meeting to “present a clear picture to the regents of all the funding increases necessary on campus,” Samek said.
If the regents approve the fee increase, Samek said, it will become a part of next fall”s tuition bill.
In the MSA election, the Michigan and University Democratic parties each won three seats, while the Defend Affirmative Action Party took two seats. The newly elected candidates will take office tomorrow.
DAAP candidate Aimee Coughlin, who was elected to represent the School of Social Work on the assembly, said she is looking forward to “learning everything about MSA I can and taking it from there.”
Coughlin said the election was “an important step in defending affirmative action. I feel honored I”ll be able to represent student voices.”
LSA Rep.-elect Kristen Harris, who ran with the University Democratic Party, said, “I am really excited to make some changes in MSA and give a new group of students a voice.”
Harris, like other newly elected representatives, said she plans to “start an in-depth look at the bussing system.”
Engineering Rep.-elect Matthew Franczak, who ran with the Michigan Party, said he plans to start looking at the bus situation at next week”s steering committee meeting.
“I plan to help write a resolution to form a transportation task force to get real work done on the bussing problem,” Franczak said.
“It generally feels good to win because the North Campus election was really hard fought,” he added.
LSA Rep.-elect Scott Meves, a Blue Party candidate, said he was “really excited and relieved to find out the results of the election.”
“Some other members (of the Blue Party) and I had a little scare,” Meves said. “I was excited to see we pulled through.”
The Election Board gave Meves and another Blue Party candidate, Jon Clifton, five election demerit points for allegedly compromising the integrity of the election on Nov. 12, which would have expelled them from the election.
Meves and Clifton appealed the decision to the Central Student Judiciary, which decided to reduce the demerit points from five points to three, allowing both candidates to remain in the election.
“I”m happy with the results of the election, but I was surprised at how serious it was,” Meves said. “I ran because I just wanted to help out my school. It”s too bad the election got so political.”
Despite the Election Board”s initial decision, Meves was the second highest vote-getter of all the LSA candidates in the MSA election.
He attributed his win to running with a partner.
“Jeff Nelson and I both ran together,” Meves said. “A lot of the election is knowing people and making connections because most people don”t vote unless they know someone running.”
Blue Party13 seats
Michigan Party3 seats
University Democratic Party3 seats
Defend Affirmative Action2 seats