Entrée Plus, the Greek system and the effect of budget
cuts on students are just a few of the key issues that the Students
First party plans to tackle if voted into office in Wednesday and
Thursday’s elections.

Initially, the party was formed to make the Michigan Student
Assembly more student-friendly, MSA presidential candidate Jason
Mironov said.

“Before the formation of the Students First party, many
students commented that they felt it was impossible to approach
MSA. They believed that the leadership and the representatives on
the assembly were elitist, caring only what they and their friends
had to say,” Mironov said.

Currently, Students First holds a majority of the seats in the
assembly.

The party prides itself on having a very diverse group of
candidates from various facets of campus life. “Students
First is a party that believes diversity enhances
productivity,” said Teri Russiello, Students First candidate
manager.

“While the independents and other candidates may think
that our community cohesiveness inhibits our success, I challenge
them to complete the number of projects Students First has, while
simultaneously reaching out to student groups all over this
University.”

Under the direction of Students First, the assembly has
appropriated millions of dollars to improve recreational
facilities, $20,000 for student groups, voter registration drives
and a volunteer late-night, free taxi service. The results of the
party’s effort speak for themselves, Russiello said.

Party members have some new party platforms, such as focusing on
the Greek system and the recent budget cuts, as well as continuing
the push for old issues, such as Entrée Plus expansion.

Students First and Pi Kappa Alpha member Matt Baum said the
party wants to protect the Greek system against historic district
expansion and deferring fall rush.

If the Washtenaw-Hill Historic District is expanded, rent could
increase for those who live in houses that would fall under the
district, while deferred rush would affect students’ housing
options.

Additionally, Students First members are concerned with the
recent cuts that the University has been administering.

There have been many cuts in the Division of Student Affairs,
such as the elimination of a position in the Office of Mult-Ethnic
Student Affairs and the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Affairs. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness
Center’s reorganization is also detrimental, said Students
First presidential candidate Jenny Nathan.

Members felt that there should have been some student
involvement and input before these changes were implemented.
“We’re here to protect the students,” Baum
said.

Other party ideas are expanding Entrée Plus and
overhauling the meal plan so that it would include local
restaurants, increasing the number of bus routes to make them more
convenient for students and having later hours and trainers to
assist students with machines at the Central Campus Recreation
Building.

Students First is also composed of many representatives of the
LSA student government looking to improve campus life for their
school by increasing the number of minors and creating a more
comprehensive study abroad program that includes more
countries.

Students First members also discussed the effects of the party
system on student government, which is one of the reasons the
University Party disbanded.

“I think the party system can be helpful if utilized
properly,” LSA-SG presidential candidate Lauren Mary
said.

“Once we are in government, we represent students as a
whole, and don’t vote on political lines,” LSA-SG vice
presidential candidate Ryan Ford added.

 

Students First Party platform

Protecting the Greek system from deferred rush and the
Washtenaw-Hill Historic District expansion

Defending student groups and services from budget cuts

Expanding Entrée Plus and overhauling meal plans to
include local restaurants

Adding more bus routes

Increasing the number of hours the CCRB is open

Renovating the William Monroe Trotter House

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.