Hours before voting began early this morning, the Michigan
Student Assembly approved the addition of a chief of staff to its
executive board, citing the need for someone to primarily oversee
office duties and assembly management. MSA Rep. Russ Garber, one of
the sponsors of the bill, said the new position will allow
representatives to spend more time on student issues.

Laura Wong
Defend Affirmative Action Party presidential candidate Kate Stenvig elicits a petition signature from LSA junior Uvan Spencer in the Michigan Union yesterday. (WILLA TRACOSAS/Daily)

“It helps the nature of the assembly … to making sure
that the assembly is consistent,” Garber said, adding that
many other Big Ten student assemblies contain such a position.

But MSA Rep. Rachel Fisher disagreed saying she felt a chief of
staff would add more clutter to the executive board.

“It ignores the fact that representatives can help with
running of the assembly,” she added.

Polls for the elections will be open today and tomorrow through
midnight. Students can vote online at www.umich.edu/~vote.

As students begin voting for new candidates, the outgoing MSA
Executive Board reflected on its accomplishments this past
year.

“Trotter House, (the Sexual Assault Prevention and
Awareness Center) and the Greek system are just as important as
having Spring Break a week later,” MSA President Angela
Galardi. said “We raised awareness about things such as
budget cuts, instead of just working on our projects.”

MSA Vice President Monique Perry reflected on the condition the
current executive board is leaving the assembly in.

“We are leaving the administration with a good
relationship with other student governments on campus,” Perry
said. “We made more of an effort to coordinate, and we talked
to (the Residence Hall Association) about things that went well
with the election and things that didn’t go well.”

MSA Treasure Elliott Wells-Reid commented on the way the board
ran the meetings, calling it “accessible yet
structured.” “Everyone gets a voice and majority has
the final say.”

Galardi said she hoped the chamber stays diverse, so that
students will not be afraid to bring complaints and ideas, such as
the person who came with the idea for an all-campus pillow
fight.

She also noted all the projects they completed this year:
projects that affect the whole student body, such as AirBus,
Readership Program and Entree Plus in the Bighouse.

However, one of the regrets that Galardi stated was that she
wished she anticipated the budget cuts.

“I wish I had realized how big an effect the budget cuts
were going to have,” she said. “A lot of cuts happened
mid-year so I wish we had gotten stuff done earlier when more money
was around and the administration had more availability to
meet.”

Wells-Reid summed up his experience in MSA as, “ a
humbling experience in student leadership.”

Perry also offered some tips for the incoming MSA assembly
members, such as communicating with the executives leaving
office

“Boot taught us things and we met with Sarah and Dana to
discuss our goals for the next year,” she said.

Getting an early start and outlining what you want to do were a
few guidelines that Galardi suggested.

“Anticipate the future and consider where the
administration is currently, and how is my administration going to
be different from the one before me,” she added.

“Be responsive, be resourceful, and be proactive,”
Wells-Reid said.

The executive board is also walking away from MSA wit lifelong
lessons.

“I learned how to take criticism and learn from it,”
Galardi said. “I also learned to listen to myself.”

Perry said MSA has taught her about other cultures and ideas,
the basic human experience.

The fourth member of the MSA executive board, Jason Mironov, the
Student General Counsel, is running for MSA president on the
Students First slate.

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