With Central Student Government elections nearly a month away, campaign organizers announced on Monday the formation of The Team, a new political party.
LSA junior Will Royster will head the ticket as the party’s presidential candidate. LSA sophomore Matt Fidel, a current LSA representative, will serve as Royster’s running mate and The Team’s vice presidential candidate.
LSA junior Jacob Abudaram, The Team’s campaign manager, said the new party is composed of several current representatives from the parties forUM, which will fold at the end of the academic year, and Make Michigan, as well as students with no prior student government involvement.
Royster is currently academic concerns chair for the Black Student Union and has no prior experience on CSG. He said The Team is trying to represent students from all parts of campus to ensure an inclusive campus environment.
“I wanted to use my voice and my talent to help the campus on another scale,” Royster said. “Really a place like CSG is a place where you have a number of opportunities to help people.”
Abudaram said several current Make Michigan members are now involved with The Team.
LSA junior Meagan Shokar, who ran for CSG vice president on last year’s Make Michigan ticket with CSG President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy senior, has departed that party for The Team. She will serve as The Team’s outreach chair.
Though Make Michigan captured the top two executive offices, Shokar stepped down in August, citing an injury and subsequent medical treatment. CSG later appointed LSA senior Emily Lustig to assume the vice presidency after Shokar’s departure.
Shokar explained her decision to leave Make Michigan for The Team in an interview with The Michigan Daily.
“It can be hard to find groups on campus where your identities and ideas truly matter to those around you, but that’s not an issue on The Team,” she said.
Make Michigan has not officially announced candidates for this year’s election cycle. Representatives from the party could not be reached for comment Sunday evening.
Abudaram said several forUM members are also running as candidates for The Team. Last year, forUM’s candidates failed to capture the CSG presidency and vice presidency, but secured several representative seats.
He said he hopes the new party will help move CSG away from problems with partisanship, which they’ve experienced in the past.
“We want to broaden our scope and move beyond this partisan stuff that has halted CSG,” Abudaram said. “You can tangibly feel it halting CSG this year, which is not OK.”
Abudaram said the new party is reaching out to many campus organizations to better understand and implement solutions to issues on campus.
“We need CSG to be a place where the executives and the assembly recognize, ‘OK, I’m not an expert on this issue, but there are many people on this campus who are experts on this issue,’ ” Abudaram said.
He said CSG’s initiatives to prevent sexual assault on campus, for example, could benefit from increased collaboration. CSG and the “I Will” campaign partnered earlier this year to host workshops to educate students and raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses.
“Campus is so diverse — it would be a bad idea to just assess what the campus needs based off what these big organizations are saying,” Abudaram said. “There are a lot of marginalized communities on our campus and we need to hear their voices and make sure their voices are heard and make sure their needs are addressed.”
Online polls will open March 25 and 26.