Although elections for student government typically bring colored posters and enthusiastic candidates, ballot questions are also a crucial part of elections.
This semester, the Rackham Student Government has formulated three referendum questions on the ballot with which they hope to educate students and gain knowledge of their opinions on the University’s use of race as a factor in admissions.
The recently written “Resolution to Let Rackham Students Decide Whether to Support the University of Michigan’s Affirmative Action Policies” motivated the inclusion of the ballot questions, all of which aim to connect the University’s policies and lawsuits with Rackham students.
Rackham Student Government member Christopher Cox said the resolution was put on the table by the RSG president after “BAMN did a spiel” asking for RSG’s support.
One referendum question asks whether Rackham students “support the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies.” The follow-up questions ask about support of the lawsuits facing the University.
“It is important for the students to have their voice heard on this issues,” RSG president Brian Hulsebus said, stressing the importance of the questions. He added that the matter has become timely because of recent decisions made by the appellate courts.
Cox said he thought the “purpose (of the referendum) was just to get information” out to Rackham students about the trials and the University’s admissions policies.
“We’re supposed to be a student government and representing the students,” Cox said, adding that the results will better inform the representatives about their constituents’ opinions.
Although the referendum questions will be voted on today and tomorrow during online voting, some Rackham students said they had no knowledge of the questions.
Cox, a graduate student in SNRE, said that although he does not support the University’s policies, he thinks most of his “colleagues are very much in support of it.”
Hulsebus declined to comment on his position on the referendum questions so as not to affect student voting.