For the past two Central Student Government presidential elections, members of MForward have been grateful for the confidence that students have placed in their candidates. Just a few weeks ago, I was honored and humbled to receive the MForward nomination for CSG president. After careful consideration, I’m proud to announce that I have selected Louis Mirante as my CSG running mate. Louis has an extensive history of achievement in student government, and I am confident he brings the experience and skills necessary to serve as vice president. This March, MForward is again asking for your trust and your support.
This past year, other MForward members and I worked diligently with the Student Association of Michigan (SAM) to lobby for higher education funding from the state. While the previous budget was marked with a $58 million decrease in funding for the University, due to the collaboration of CSG, SAM and the President’s Council, Governor Rick Snyder recently proposed a 3-percent increase in funding for education. Members of MForward strongly believe that the most effective way to keep the University affordable is to ensure adequate state support. Sadly, Michigan currently has one of the worst records for supporting education, but we know it doesn’t have to be that way. We recognize the work cannot stop now, and the relationships that we built with the state government cannot be lost. This is why MForward is proposing the creation of a permanent CSG executive position that would act as a government relations officer. This position would not only continue our lobbying efforts for education, but also actively work to increase those efforts as well.
MForward is also working on a medical amnesty policy that would protect students from receiving Minor in Possession of alcohol charges when calling for help for friends who need treatment due to alcohol poisoning. Under state law, a student who calls for an intoxicated friend is also in danger of receiving legal punishment if they have been drinking. A medical amnesty law would not only incentivize the request for help, but also would, best of all, help save the lives of students in danger.
But, MForward isn’t confined to only these issues. Our focus has been and always will be this campus and how to make everyday life better for students. This year, we are looking at ways to reorganize the Student Organization Account Services, as well as improve student organization funding, in order to make it easier for student groups to finance their events and ideas. In addition, we will work with other organizations to implement a bike share program on campus that would allow students greater convenience for getting across campus. Most importantly, though, we’ll work to rebuild and expand the What to Fix (WTF) campaign to ensure that student government is addressing issues that you, as students, want to see addressed.
We remain today because we are the same party we were founded as. We remain today because we are the only party solely focused on the interests of students and being an advocate for those needs, not swayed by national politics or causes that take us away from that focus. Our success is driven by our dedication and hard work, our belief in representative diversity and transparency in governing, as well as our never-ending commitment to all of these values. We remain because although we have had success, MForward is determined to continually work for the betterment of students here at the University of Michigan.
MForward is about results for students and nothing less. We have no desire for meaningless rhetoric. We emphasize collaboration over combativeness and innovation over idleness because this has been the proven path to working with the administration and achieving real results. MForward will never lose sight of its role as the advocate for students. This March, we hope that you will continue your support for MForward, so MForward can continue working for you.
Aditya Sathi is an LSA junior. He is the MForward Presidential Candidate and the Vice Speaker of the Student Assembly.