The reMichigan Campaign, one of the main bidders to take control of the Michigan Student Assembly in its upcoming election, held its first mass meeting last night in the Michigan Union.
Engineering Rep. Ambreen Sayed, who’s working on the campaign, started out the festivities by discussing her time in MSA. She focused on the positive experiences she had working with some of the students who are now leaders of the reMichigan Campaign.
LSA sophomore Jason Raymond, the reMichigan campaign chair, then took the floor. He introduced the campaign and explained the group’s plan to introduce a diverse group of candidates.
“We intend to go beyond the Union recruiting candidates,” he said. “We feel that if we have a diverse slate, it will make reaching out to other groups that much easier.”
Ross School of Business sophomore Greg Caplan, reMichigan’s vice presidential candidate, then spoke about how the campaign plans to serve the students, not simply the candidates’ hopes to be elected.
“It’s really not about us,” he said. “We’re here as a lens and a tool to help the student body achieve what (it) wants.”
ReMichigan’s presidential candidate, Gibran Baydoun, then addressed the audience of about 45 people. He spoke about how reMichigan differs from past parties and of its plan to improve MSA.
“We’re going to compete, not just with the other parties,” he said, “I’m talking about with the past, and with the past perceptions of MSA and with the past perceptions of the way elections work.”
During a question-and-answer session, students asked how the campaign would make MSA more transparent after the election and what the candidates think being in a party would contribute to campus life.
“We’re trying to help students focus a little bit and help each other focus by having some issues that we’re (bound to) together as a team,” Baydoun said. “They’re more likely to get done.”
The reMichigan campaign formed in the wake of the dissolution of the Michigan Action Party, the leading party in the past several elections. Both reMichigan and the Michigan Vision Party, the other main contender in the upcoming election, are headed by former MAP members.
LSA junior William Bostic, who was present at the meeting, said he thought reMichigan seemed to be more inclusive than past parties.
“This is the first party that seems like they’re actually trying to involve everybody instead of just using the same set of people,” he said.
Though he supports the reMichigan campaign, LSA junior Vishal Bajaj said he thinks both parties are presenting insightful platforms, which he thinks will promote healthy competition.
“I saw that both parties were doing the right thing. I like bringing back competition to MSA,” he said. “One of the things I hated was the one-party system, but the biggest thing for me is that both parties wanted to open up MSA to the vision of the students.”
— Diya Wadhwa contributed to this story.