The University Democratic Party candidates running in next week”s Michigan Student Assembly election promise they will fight for student rights and address issues other parties have never thought to address.

“The projects we undertake and the issues we tackle directly affect students, like the House Party Handbook, informing students of their rights for house parties,” said candidate Elliot Wells-Reid, an Engineering senior.

Wells-Reid said he thinks the name of the party is an asset, not a hindrance to attracting students.

“Our name brings with it the idea that we will not tolerate the status quo from government,” Wells-Reid said.

The party is less than a year old, but LSA freshman candidate Jenny Nathan said they are even more involved in the work of MSA than the older parties.

“Since our establishment, our members have come to hold chairmanships of nearly one half of the MSA committees and commissions,” Nathan said.

Nathan said members of her party “initiated and facilitated the planning of the vigil on Sept. 11.”

She added that the U-Dems were the only party to be fully endorsed by Students for Choice in last winter”s election.

The U-Dems will continue “working to protect reproductive choice on campus, including lifting the current gag rule which prohibits UHS from presenting its full array of reproductive health options to patients,” Nathan said.

Wells-Reid said his party will “push for reform to the Office of Financial Aid so that they can more effectively communicate with students by giving them all necessary information online.”

Campus safety is another big concern of the U-Dems candidates.

“We want to work with the Department of Public Safety and the Ann Arbor Police Department to help completely eliminate domestic assault and to secure that students of certain descent are protected in light of recent events,” said candidate Jason Mironov, an LSA freshman.

Mironov is concerned about the quality of housing both on and off campus. If elected, he plans to improve MSA”s relationship with the Ann Arbor Tenants” Union and University Housing to make living in Ann Arbor “more bearable.”

Mironov has created a website, votejason.com, for students to share their concerns about MSA and read about the U-Dems” platform.

LSA sophomore candidate Rahul Saksena said the U-Dems want students to have representation in city politics.

“We are the only party that supports the creation of a student councilperson on the Ann Arbor City Council,” Saksena said.

LSA junior and current MSA Rep. Zach Slates said he wants to improve bussing to and from points even further away than North Campus.

“I want to work with the University and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority to provide bussing to Metro Airport for out of state students to get home,” Slates said. “Now with Commuter Express no longer running to the airport, students are forced to pay for a cab to get there.”

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