Correction appended: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Watson’s position on MSA’s Diversity Affairs Select Committee.

The Michigan Student Assembly MForward party unanimously nominated candidates DeAndree Watson for president and Brendan Campbell for vice president, both LSA juniors, for the upcoming MSA elections in March.

Watson is the current MSA speaker and former chair of MSA’s Diversity Affairs Select Committee. Campbell is the current chair of the University’s chapter of College Democrats and hasn’t held a position in MSA.

LSA sophomore Devin Parsons, who’s working on the MForward campaign, said about 20 students attended the party’s Feb. 4 convention where Watson and Campbell were nominated. All party members could vote for the nominees, Parsons aid.

“It was an open nomination process,” Parsons said. “The party chairs offered anyone (to speak) at any point before voting. Everyone had the chance to write down questions (and) there was private voting.”

Watson plans to focus on financial difficulties University students face like the high costs of housing and tuition, according to an MForward press release issued Sunday.

Campbell said in an interview yesterday that he and Watson are aiming to uphold the same values established by the party when it was founded one year ago.

“We really want to make sure that we are continuing to be an advocate for students on campus, (and) that student government really is the voice of students on campus,” Campbell said. “We want to do that by having the most diverse slate of representatives possible and by having all voices represented in the process to make sure we are advocating for all students.”

Current MSA President Chris Armstrong and Vice President Jason Raymond, who are the founders of MForward, endorsed Watson and Campbell at the convention.

Campbell said he is honored to have been chosen to carry on their positions, specifically after the work they’ve done in the past year.

“We’re very happy to have the endorsement of Chris Armstrong and Jason Raymond,” Campbell said. “Students on campus think that they have done a tremendous job leading our government and representing us to the (University) administration, so we look forward to continuing and building upon their legacy next year.”

Campbell said he and Watson plan to campaign for the upcoming elections by going on “listening tours,” which will give students the opportunity to offer comments and voice their opinions on changes they wish to see within MSA. Armstrong and Raymond did similar campaigning methods last year.

Campbell said MForward plans to contact hundreds of student organizations to ensure the party is exposed to many different perspectives “to reinvigorate the executive branch.”

“(We are) making sure that the entire government is listening to students and making sure that we’re encompassing all students’ beliefs in our advocacy,” Campbell said. “We also want to make sure that we are steadfast in our commitment to push for change on campus by working with, and sometimes against, the administration on campus to make it a better place for students.”

Campbell said his lack of experience in student government at the University will benefit MSA, as he is able to provide a fresh perspective.

“I think it’s really helpful to have someone in the leadership of the student government who doesn’t have preconceived notions about how to operate the government,” Campbell said. “I’m really excited about the possibility of uniting (mine and Watson’s) different experiences to be as effective advocates as possible.”

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