Four distinctly different Michigan Student Assembly presidential
candidates were revealed during a debate at the WOLV-TV studio last
night.

Beth Dykstra
From left, Michigan Student Assembly presidential candidates LSA senior Kate Stenvig of the Defend Affirmative Action Party, Business School junior Jason Mironov of Students First and LSA sophomore Andre Radojcich of the Other Political Party, field ques

Kate Stenvig of the Defend Affirmative Action Party, Students
First candidate Jason Mironov, independent candidate Tim Moore and
Andre Radojcich, an Other Political Party spokesperson who stood in
for candidate Charles Heidel, faced three rounds of
questioning.

Although the event was publicized as a debate, the evening
featured less dialogue between the candidates than it did
opportunities for them to tout their platforms and records.

“I’ve been organizing in the defense of affirmative
action on this campus for five years,” Stenvig said.
“If we win against the current attack on affirmative action,
I think it will end the series of attacks on integration
programs.”

Diverging from the issue of affirmative action in the second
round of questioning, Stenvig addressed DAAP’s support of the
Graduate Employees Organization and the Lecturers’ Employee
Organization.

“Whether or not GEO and LEO win in their negotiations is
really crucial,” Stenvig said. “It’s really a
question of not just fairness in employment, but really the quality
of education.”

Moore expressed his desire for MSA to focus on issues that bring
students together and mentioned his experience as a member of the
Interfraternity Council and the Business School’s Student
Government Association. He added that issues such as affirmative
action are not the business of the assembly.

Moore commented on IFC in the second round of questioning and
said IFC President Casey Bourke should have apologized for an
incident of alcohol abuse during a University-funded retreat at Tau
Beta Camp in January, which led to a vote of no confidence in some
executives.

“I don’t necessarily think (the executives) should
resign. … However I do think the president of IFC should
have apologized,” Moore said.“The Greek system needs to
bring up its image.”

Mironov stressed his familiarity with MSA procedures and
University administrators as MSA student general counsel. He also
said that he would like to continue MSA’s current efforts
regarding the Collegiate Readership Program, AirBus, renovations to
the William Monroe Trotter House and the addition of a bus route
extending to Washtenaw Avenue.

“(I want to) put energy and time into things that we
started last year,” Mironov said.

In the second round of questioning, Mironov also said that MSA
would like to provide funding for the Ann Arbor Tenants Union or a
group with a similar function that would assist students living off
campus in recognizing and resolving issues with landlords.

“I do see a necessity of providing funding for
them,” Mironov said. “$20,000 or more of our budget
should be allocated to an organization like AATU, whether it is
AATU or something like it.”

Radojcich said Heidel could not attend the debate because he was
“ill,” but yesterday Heidel said he would skip the
debate to play an intramural volleyball game.

Radojcich spoke about Heidel’s hopes for MSA but also
mentioned the newly formed OPP’s inexperience on student
government.

“He’s a really selfless guy and all he wants to do
is bring new blood to MSA,” Radojcich said. “We may not
(currently) be active in the entire MSA system, but we will
be.”

Disparities arose between Mironov and Moore in terms of
MSA’s accessibility and productivity.

“I think that the important fact of the matter is that
we’ve been accessible for students,” Mironov said.
“Students First believes that no students should have their
beliefs not represented on MSA.”

Moore argued that accessibility has been gained at the cost of
efficiency and suggested stronger leadership as a solution to this
problem. “MSA is trying to tackle too much,” he said.
“Somebody needs to cut through all of the matter in MSA that
isn’t actually related to MSA.”

It was a concern of some candidates that the debate might be
slanted because on Monday night, current MSA President Angela
Galardi of Students First was given access to potential questions
by WOLV-TV.

Although Galardi claimed not to have read the questions or
passed them on to Mironov, the complaints prompted WOLV-TV News
Editor Laura Averitt to send the questions to all candidates before
the debate. WOLV-TV eventually resolved to leave the questions out
of the debate completely.

“They were not asked,” said Wasseem Abaza, general
manager of WOLV-TV. “We wanted to make sure that there were
no unfair advantages, so we decided to take the questions
out.”

While the debate was not open to the public, it can be seen this
Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 10 p.m. on channel 22 for Comcast
subscribers and channel 70 in the residence halls.

Elections will take place on Wednesday, March 17 and Thursday,
March 18. Students can vote online at vote.www.umich.edu.

WOLV-TV executive board member Michael Ostrander and The
Michigan Daily Editorial Page Editor Jason Pesick got the
candidates warmed up with general questions about their reasons for
running and their qualifications before moving onto individual
questioning.

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