Last year, the Michigan Vision Party was formed by a group of students upset at the direction of the Michigan Student Assembly. We were passionate about changing MSA to make it transparent, accountable and, most important, focused on students. By asking the simple question, “What’s your vision?,” we were able to return ownership of the Assembly back to the students. This semester, that passion is back. After a year of leading the Assembly, the Michigan Vision Party has delivered on our vision. We’ve provided real results and real progress for the University community.

What are our real results? We’ve put on big events for students like, “Go Blue, Beat OSU Week,” and we will be putting on a major concert on campus next month. In addition, we’ve done smaller events to unite the student body and make MSA more visible. These include our weekly MSA Mondays on the Diag (with free bagels) and a Campus Leadership Colloquium for student leaders.

We’ve fought for students’ rights. We’ve taken the lead in working with the University administration to revise the Statement of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities to better protect students and we are lobbying the state to pass a law providing amnesty to minors who take their intoxicated friends to the hospital. To further protect students, we’ve increased awareness of laptop registration, nearly doubling the number of registered laptops, and are working to give students the right to elect fellow students to the Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee. Most important, we have fought for more state funding for higher education to help lower our tuition.

We’ve worked to make the everyday University experience better. We’ve reformed MSA to make it focused on students and student issues. Last year, we heard from students that the government wasn’t working for the students. In response, the Michigan Vision Party led the push to restrict MSA business so that only student-related issues are addressed. Members of MVP also led and are now rolling out the most comprehensive reform to student government in decades by way of the proposed new constitution, which will make student government more effective. Furthermore, we worked to increased diversity awareness on campus, improve the campus climate for student veterans and sought change on a host of other issues. Finally, student organization funding increased by 18 percent this past year, meaning that student organizations have received more money than ever to put on the events that enhance the Michigan experience. Our guiding focus is that the student voice be heard and that a student solution is enacted.

What’s our vision for the future? We plan on building on the progress of this year. We want to continue putting on large campus-wide events for students to enjoy. And with the departure of the founder of MSA’s Airbus, which transports thousands of students to the airport each break, we want to revamp Airbus to make sure it lasts for future students to use.

We also need to continue fighting for students’ rights. The fact is that the administration doesn’t take students seriously right now, and we want to change that so student voices are always heard. To do this, we’re committed to putting quality students at every level of the administration to stand up for students when decisions are made. This goes all the way up to the regent level, where we will push a state constitutional amendment for a student regent. It’s a radical idea, but unless there’s a student on the Board of Regents fighting for students, students will always lose.

Finally, our executives fully endorse and understand the new Constitution, and, should it pass, they’ll be ready to lead a new, efficient student government from day one.

Our vision is to make the Michigan Student Assembly a place for students to make campus a better place. MSA should be a forum for students to express their visions, have their voices heard and expect real results. To us, that’s real progress.

Real Vision. Real Results. Real Progress. MVP has made sure that our vision reflects student concerns and that we have delivered solutions. People may tell you that MSA doesn’t do anything, but our results show that isn’t the case. MSA has become an effective medium for students under MVP’s leadership. But there is always more work to be done, and we look forward to continuing the real progress we have already made.

Don’t be fooled. You’ll hear a lot of promises this election — that is common in politics. We’re proud to say that we have done something uncommon: actually delivered on our promises.

This viewpoint was written by John Lin on behalf of the Michigan Vision Party.

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