The Central Student Government will hold elections Wednesday and Thursday to fill spots vacated by recalled representatives over the course of the semester, but recruiting candidates is proving to be a challenge.
Although the elected assembly representatives are generally elected for full academic-year positions, the representatives who are elected this week will serve only Winter 2014.
This cycle, there are six available seats on the CSG assembly: two from Rackham Graduate School, two from LSA, one from the School of Information and one from the School of Public Health. Two parties are running candidates — the Defend Affirmative Action Party and forUM — along with some independent candidates.
Currently, the only contested seats are for the LSA representatives, with two candidates running with forUM, one with DAAP and one as an independent. Law School student Bryson Nitta, the election director, said it will likely be difficult to attain a high voter turnout for the fall elections because most races are uncontested.
In an e-mail interview, LSA sophomore Meagan Shokar, vice speaker on the assembly, said the majority of representatives elected in March “have been fine with attendance” and those who left the assembly or have been recalled for missing more than six meetings.
“Each and every representative wants the best for the student body and all of us at CSG want an assembly filled with representatives who have the time to dedicate to representing their college or school’s needs, wants, and hopes,” she said.
Public Policy junior Sam Dickstein, a forUM spokesperson, said the party decided to run LSA junior Pavitra Abraham and LSA senior Tyler Mesman for the elections because it felt as though it would be beneficial to have representatives with more “CSG experience” on the assembly. Abraham currently serves as a LSA Student Government-appointed representative on the assembly.
Only two candidates are running for the three available Rackham seats and there are no students running for the School of Information seat. A write-in candidate with the majority of votes will secure a seat, but in the case that no write-in is eligible for the position, the respective school or college student government will appoint a representative.
Given current conditions, DAAP will secure at least three seats on the assembly for uncontested Rackham and School of Public Health representative positions.
DAAP is the oldest party to run candidates in the student government elections. Created in 1997 before CSG existed in its current constitutional form, the party is known for its longstanding support of race-based affirmative action when the Michigan Student Assembly — the previous student government — endorsed affirmative action at the University-level in 2001.