Last spring, University students overwhelmingly voted to elect MForward candiates to represent them on the Michigan Student Assembly. All 19 MForward candidates up for election won seats, led by current MSA President and MForward founder Chris Armstrong. This landslide victory was a mandate from the student body for MForward to pursue their campaign promise of aggressive advocacy to address major problems on campus.

Since taking office in April, MForward’s slate of diverse student leaders has become the new leaders of the MSA. MSA’s current treasurer, chief of staff and seven committee chairs were all MForward candidates and have been at the forefront of many major initiatives. We have met with the Ann Arbor Police Department to address noise and trash violations on Football Saturdays, worked with administrators to offer transportation options for student organizations and delayed the vote on the porch couch ban due to a lack of student involvement in the debate.

Currently, MForward party members on MSA are leading the initiative to implement an open housing policy on campus. For those who are unfamiliar with open housng, it would allow students living in University housing to choose their roommates regardless of gender identity and expression. Open housing isn’t simply about creating an inclusive and non-discriminatory community. It’s also about about students’ rights to make their own decisions. MForward is proud to be leading the way on such a monumental policy change and proud to keep its promise to work for the students.

Our new slate of candidates for this November’s election is as poised and energetic as the last. With the election less than two weeks away, our 15 candidates have already been out on the Diag listening to concerns from the students. MForward is sticking to its plan to listen to the needs and desires of the students that MSA represents.

We have established a group of candidates consistent with our goal of bringing diverse ideas and experiences to MSA by selecting student leaders from a wide variety of campus groups and communities. Our slate of candidates includes leaders from the Chi Phi Fraternity, College Democrats, Indian American Student Association, Arab Student Association and the NAACP, to name a few. Our slate also includes current MSA representatives and MSA committee members.

Keep a lookout for MForward candidates around campus and be sure to let them know what you’d like to see improved or changed at the University. For more information on our candidates and their platforms, check us out on Facebook or at mforward.org. Most importantly, be sure to vote in MSA Elections on Nov. 17 and 18 at vote.umich.edu.

Brendan Friedman is the MForward Party Chair.

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