The Party Party is all about bringing fun and involvement to Central Student Government, but it wants voters to know they are no joke. LSA junior Ryan Hayes, the party’s CSG presidential candidate, and Business junior Brennan Woods, vice presidential candidate, are hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the CSG race.

Hayes said he and Woods were motivated to found The Party Party due to their distaste for the mainstream campaigns of recent years.

“Every year, it’s a new rebranding of a new pun with Michigan,” Hayes said. “We felt that it was a Groundhog Day of a continual cycle of the same candidates.”

TPP is built on the goal of increasing student engagement as less than a quarter of University students voted in CSG elections each year.

“For a school like Michigan, to have that lack of engagement from a central student government, that’s a disgrace,” Hayes said. “It’s a student body voice and right now it’s a whisper.”

While The Party Party does not have any candidates running for CSG representative positions, its team includes a group of 13 students titled the “Extraordinary League of Advisors” on the party’s website, These students have titles such as “Bar and Fitness Expert” and “Tommy Bahama Rep.”

Engineering junior Erik Winnega, designated the “Whiz Kid” in charge of campaign management, said Hayes and Woods would be more transparent leaders.

“The only contact I have with student government is an e-mail every three months from the president and that goes straight to my trash,” Winnega said. “If they get into office, that’s going to change.”

The Party Party platform, referred to as their “Elevated Surface,” names engagement, empowerment and expectations as their beliefs.

Hayes said the mission of TPP is much less specific than those of other parties that are running. He said listing individual goals of candidates is a contradiction of listening to the voice of the student body.

“By saying, ‘This is what we’re going to do,’ it’s a complete fallacy of the engagement that you’re trying to promise,” Hayes said.

Hayes and Woods promised increased engagement by eliminating the official office hours currently held in CSG chambers. Hayes said he is willing to meet students where they want to be met, rather than holding office hours on the third floor of the Union.

“That limits the passion of the students. That dampers their momentum,” Hayes said. “You need to be more proactive than saying, ‘Our doors are open, come find us.’ ”

Regarding empowerment, TPP prioritizes increased funding for student organizations. Hayes said involvement in student organizations is how Michigan students create their undergraduate experience.

“The connection I feel with people is not that we go to the same school, it’s that we have passions and that we approach those passions through those organizations,” he said.

TPP aims to dedicate the majority of CSG funds to student organizations. For the Winter 2014 budget, 42 percent of funds were allocated to student organizations. Business senior Michael Proppe, CSG president, has also expressed frustration with these low numbers in the past.

The third pillar of TPP’s mission is the reevaluation of the expectations of CSG. Hayes said while he agrees with everything Make Michigan and FORUM are advocating for, he feels their platforms are too ambitious to achieve in a single year. He said TPP would focus on a few specific initiatives if elected.

“Expectations that are realistic is not a synonym with being pessimistic. It’s opportunistic,” he said.

With elections approaching, Hayes said he and Woods will devote their energy to stand out from their opponents.

Hayes said he is looking forward to proving their legitimacy at Monday evening’s CSG elections debate, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday in Room 1225 South Hall of the Law School. Winnega added that he is confident they will fare well in the debate against the major party candidates.

“There have been funny campaigns in the past and there always will be, but they’re not backed up by anything,” Winnega said. “(TPP) are going to do well because people are going to connect with them.”

The Party Party’s campaign in the coming days mostly involves its members embarrassing themselves, Hayes said. Some of their plans include a dance to Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” on the Diag and a rhythmic gymnastics performance in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.

“We’re just going to be as dynamic as we can,” Hayes said.

Winnega said Hayes and Woods’ humorous approach should not undermine their reputations as effective candidates.

“They don’t take themselves seriously, but what I can say is they take their work seriously,” Winnega said. “I don’t know more sincere individuals.”

Hayes said even if they do not win, they hope their message will resonate and inspire a change in the way CSG operates.

“It’s showing a message and it’s a wakeup call,” Hayes sad. “It’s a lack of engagement and a lack of change that has plagued student government to be an enigma of what it should be.”

Hayes and Woods remain committed to keeping the campaign process fun. Their website includes numerous pop culture references, such as Woods’ love of *NSYNC and Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” to set the mood for the site’s contact information page.

“Laughter might be the satirical catalyst for the change we need and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Hayes said.

Correction appended: This article has been corrected to more accurately reflect voter turnout at CSG elections.

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