Today marks the beginning of fall elections for the Michigan Student Assembly. You, the students, have an important opportunity to elect individuals to represent your needs and interests.

Throughout the campaign, MForward has been working diligently to reach students in every corner of campus to talk about student government and our plans to improve the quality of life for every student at this university. We understand the role of student government and its unique purpose on this campus. We understand that the current level of production from the assembly is unacceptable and has been in the past. This is why MForward has been tirelessly striving to make improvements since you elected us last spring.

The central theme of MForward is ideas, action and community. We believe that these are the three fundamental principles on which MSA was founded. MSA is designed to provide the resources that are essential to students’ academic and social success. It should be the hub for innovation that directly impacts students on this campus. In addition, MSA is charged with the responsibility of advocating on behalf of the students while protecting their rights and privileges. It should prevent any acts that may adversely affect them. Lastly, MSA was created to serve as a central location to preserve the unique and culturally rich university community that sets Michigan apart from other academic institutions.

This is why MForward is leading the initiative to implement open housing, a policy reform that will give all students the freedom to choose the dynamics of their living conditions. As financially contributing members of the University community, students deserve to have the opportunity to choose who we live with. MForward is working to make that happen.

We are committed to resolving the problems that directly affect the lives of students, which is what motivated other MForward members to begin working with the Ann Arbor City Council to pass a resolution that will prevent the widespread and unchecked use of surveillance cameras and encourage police to carefully gauge the need for surveillance in high-crime areas.

In addition, cuts to the Ginsberg Center’s budget has forced the center to get rid of its Transportation Coordinator. The center no longer has the administrative capacity to provide transportation services for several student organizations that provide invaluable service to the surrounding metropolitan community, making transportation for community service organizations more difficult. MForward members have identified this as a major issue and are currently working with Parking and Transportation Services to restore this service for student organizations.

These are the types of issues that MForward is striving to resolve. If you want a student government that is serious about serving you, I encourage you to vote MForward. If you are fed up with the lack of substantive results from MSA, I encourage you to vote MForward. And if you’re ready for a student government that will move this campus forward with real ideas, successful action and deep regard and engagement with the student body consistently throughout the school year, you need to vote MForward.

This viewpoint was written by DeAndree Watson on behalf of MForward.

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