Though chalk messages touting Make Michigan, The Team and the Defend Affirmative Action Party began covering campus in advance of this week’s Central Student Government election, students pitched platforms Monday night for another race — LSA Student Government elections.
At the event, several LSA Student Government candidates presented their platforms and answered questions during a candidate forum in the Michigan Union.
The presenters included LSA juniors Jason Colella and Reid Klootwyk Colella, the uncontested candidates for LSA SG president and vice president, respectively.
Colella and Kloowyk’s platform calls for improving campus climate and increasing diversity. The goal reflects that of the University leadership. In February, University President Mark Schlissel held a leadership breakfast to consider issues related to diversity on campus, including diversity of the student body and faculty, inclusion and the creation of a strategic diversity plan.
Klootwyk, who serves as vice chair of the LSA SG communications committee, said addressing issues regarding international and transfer students is an important part of addressing diversity.
“Our international student mentorship program is a huge project we’re working on,” Klootwyk said. “I’m also working on a project that will allow transfer students to defer enrollment as freshmen are able to.”
Colella, who currently serves as chair for the LSA SG Budget Allocations Committee said interacting with students will paly a vital part in fulfilling their platform.
“My main focus this year is definitely on talking to students, student engagement and hearing student voices,” Colella said. “More than anything else we are here to represent the 18,000 students in LSA and what they want.”
Colella added that his experiences as a residential adviser at East Quad inspired some of the goals of their platform.
“Being an RA, you see so many different things and hear about so many different student concerns,” he said. “Working through all the student issues that I have encountered has been really enlightening.”
Colella and Klootwyk both said the LSA community should prepare to hear new ideas and plans, upon their election.
“The LSA community can really look forward to us hitting the ground running with projects, ideas and a strong push for student engagement and involvement,” Colella said.
Klootwyk said they want the LSA community to know they are passionate about being student leaders.
“We really do care about the needs of the students,” Klootwyk said. “We will do whatever is in our power to make changes for them and see that any issues they have, Jason and I will make it apparent to get those fixed.”
A list of the remaining LSA SG representative candidates as well as their platforms is available at vote.umich.edu.