If elected president of the Michigan Student Assembly, Public Policy Rep. Ian Margolis said his main goal would be to produce tangible changes within the assembly.
Margolis, a Rockville, Md. native and chair of MSA’s Campus Governance Committee, is running as the presidential candidate for the Michigan Vision Party. Tom Stuckey, a Business Rep. from Okemos, Mich., is also running on the MVP slate for the position of vice president.
Margolis said what sets him apart from other candidates running for MSA president is his commitment to encourage MSA representatives to do more than just be activists.
“It’s important for the assembly to be activists in nature. However, through my experiences and talking to students, they don’t give $7.19 to the assembly just for that,” Margolis said. “We need to do more tangible things to benefit a wider array of students. I don’t think activism is enough.”
Margolis added that he wants to address the “disconnect” between the assembly and the student body that has caused students to remain in the dark about what MSA is actually doing.
“There’s a communications breach between MSA and the students,” Margolis said. “MSA hasn’t done enough for students.”
Margolis said he has the experience necessary to make these changes a reality, adding that he was part of a group of MVP representatives that “spear-headed” important events in the past few years.
Margolis cited events organized by MVP leaders like the formation of the “Block M” during Michigan football games, promoting Go Blue, Beat OSU Week, providing coffee and bagels to students on the Diag as part of MSA Mondays and hosting the upcoming “AA Chillin” spring concert featuring artists Wale, Clipse and Big Sean.
As part of his campaign goals, Margolis said he wants to bring more events to campus, like those he’s worked on in the past, in order to make the students’ time at the University more memorable.
“Every day and every night we need to be working on improving the student experience,” he said.
Margolis also said MSA needs to be more “responsive” to students after student government elections end. To do this, he plans to offer more “deliverables,” which he said are student resources, like Airbus and funding for student organizations.
“I want to oversee an assembly that focuses on these deliverables to students,” Margolis said. “We need to have tangible things so that students that aren’t familiar with MSA know what they are getting back from it.”
Margolis also plans to start “Vision projects,” which he describes as times when representatives would walk around campus and ask students what they want from MSA and what they think could be changed.
“We need to continue seeing what students’ visions are and creating results to go along with what they tell us they want to see us doing,” he said.
Margolis said though the current executive board of MSA has made internal improvements, he and Stuckey are stressing the importance of external reform in their campaign.
Margolis added that he is excited for proposed student constitution changes, including the Students 4 Progressive Governance proposal, which includes new regulations like the ability to impeach an MSA president. Margolis said, if elected, he would like to oversee the implementation of the proposed constitution.
“We need to make a separation of powers to make MSA more effective for the students,” Margolis said.
Margolis said the relationship between University students and the administration could also be improved, and his work on the Campus Governance Committee has taught him the importance of students having an “active voice” when it comes to communicating with the administration.