This story has been updated to include interviews with the candidates.
The campus party Make Michigan announced candidates Sunday night for the upcoming Central Student Government elections.
Cooper Charlton, an LSA junior and the president of the University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, will run for CSG president. LSA sophomore Steven Halperin, a current LSA representative, is the party’s vice presidential candidate.
Last year, the party secured the CSG presidency and several legislative seats.
LSA senior Annie Pidgeon, Make Michigan’s campaign manager, said the party intends to involve students across a variety of campus communities.
“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.
Charlton has not served as a member of CSG, but Pidgeon noted he co-founded the Wolverine Support Network, a University-wide peer support network and one of Make Michigan’s central initiatives this year.
“With Cooper at the helm, given his positions within athletics, we can take on a more collaborative approach with the Athletic Department in the coming year,” Pidgeon said.
In an e-mail interview with The Michigan Daily, Charlton wrote that his position as president of SAAC during a time of change within the Athletic Department has prepared him for the CSG presidency.
As president of SAAC, Charlton co-authored a viewpoint in which the committee criticized University President Mark Schlissel’s comments at a meeting of the University’s Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs. During that meeting, Schlissel called into question the academic qualifications of some student athletes. The viewpoint argued that the perception of student athletes is easily swayed by the media and public opinion.
In the e-mail interview, Charlton also said his experiences complemented Halperin’s leadership experiences on campus.
“My relationships with the current members of Make Michigan, and Steven’s experience within CSG compliment my Michigan experiences and perspectives resulting in a very balanced executive ticket,” Charlton wrote. “We both come from very different backgrounds however share similar values.”
Pidgeon noted Halperin’s leadership both inside and outside of CSG as the reason he was selected for the vice presidential nomination. Halperin is the vice chair of CSG’s task force to create a new honor code, an LSA dean ambassador and the Interfraternity Council’s vice president of internal recruiting.
If elected, Halperin said he wants to expand the Night Owl bus route, increase lighting around campus and link CTools syllabuses with Google calendar. He would also like to focus on larger campus concerns.
“I have been working very closely with SAPAC to make a positive change in the Greek community and plan on expanding across campus,” Halperin wrote in an e-mail to The Michigan Daily.
The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating the University’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations on campus.
As a whole, Make Michigan organizers and candidates said they hope to continue working on student health. Pidgeon said along with Wolverine Support Network, Make Michigan has plans to increase other mental health services as well.
“We want to build on that success of keeping students physically and emotionally safe,” Pidgeon said.
“Through de-stigmatizing mental well being on campus we will be able to accomplish goals once thought to hard to reach,” Charlton wrote. “Tradition runs deep through the academic excellence of our students, however it is time to include emotional development in that tradition.”
The party has not released an entire platform because they want to wait until they receive feedback from constituents. Make Michigan created a Google form for students to submit issues they feel need to be addressed on campus. The form is available on their website and on Facebook.
“We can have a platform that we as a party think the students want but also what students really do want,” Pidgeon said.
Last week, The Team, a new campus party that will also run candidates in this year’s election, announced an executive ticket headed by LSA junior William Royster, a member of the Black Student Union, and LSA sophomore Matt Fidel, a current CSG representative.
Polls will open online March 25 and 26.