The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 18, 1994 - 3
The Protest Party
Devon Bodoh - Conan Smith
Benjamin Bolger - Mark Rabinowitz
With a platform based on grass-roots organizing
and increasing student group funding, the Students'
Party wants to improve the assembly with the struc-
ture it already has.
The Students' Party is one of the two returning
parties to the MSA political scene in this election
and has been endorsed by the Progressive Party.
The Students' Party presidential candidate De-
von Bodoh serves a Business representative to MSA
and the party's candidate for vice president, Conan
Smith, serves as Michigan Collegiate Coalition gov-
Bodoh said he will increase funding to student
groups by $20,000 by reducing administrative costs.
"The budgeting on MSA has been categorically
irresponsible," Bodoh said.
The candidates said they do not see the structure
of the assembly as being the problem, but the way
the structure is being used. The Students' Party
opposes the new All-Campus Constitution, pro-
posed by the Michigan Party, that would increase the
influence of the president over the assembly.
Like almost every party, the Students' Party also
opposes the Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities, the code of non-academic conduct.
"We categorically blame MSA for not opposing
the code correctly," Bodoh said. "You need to deal
with the administration and mobilize the students."
Smith said he would like to see MSA mobilize
student groups through its committees. Each time an
organization registers with the assembly, one of the
MSA committees would create a long-term working
relationship with the group.
The Students' Party also wants to work with
students to improve the campus. One of the prime
concerns of the assembly should be fighting against
tuition increases, Smith said. "We just let (the tuition
increase) go by last summer. That was shameful."
Bodoh said campus safety is another important
issue. "We need to return this campus to a safe
environment so people aren't afraid," Bodoh said.
"A DPS officer on every corner is not the answer."
Bodoh calls for replacing the Nite-Owl system
with a taxi service that runs for free during the night
hours. Bodoh said the cost of such a system would be
similar to the costs for Nite-Owl.
As an African American, Smith said the party is
also concerned with minority issues.
Jodi Masley - Jessica Curtin
LSA senior Benjamin Bolger is the youngest
candidate running for MSA president.
The Protest Party's candidate for president started
college when he was 13. Five years later, Bolger
wants to get more students involved with the assem-
Along with LSA Rep. Mark Rabinowitz, the
candidate for vice president, Bolger said he plans to
change MSA from a monolithic bureaucracy to an
"MSA has been turned into nothing but a bank
for student organizations, and I think that's unfortu-
nate," Bolger said.
Bolger said the assembly should strike a balance
between funding student groups and representing
"Beyond just the name of the Protest Party, we're
protesting against inefficiency and ineffectiveness,"
The Protest Party is against the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities, the code of
non-academic conduct. Bolger said MSA should
hold meetings to inform students about the code.
To help increase student involvement, Bolger
The Outsider Party
said he is proposing town hall meetings for the
"We would like to have public forums and ask
students, 'What would you like to see from your
student government?"' Bolger said.
Rabinowitz said, as a smaller party, the Protest
Party would be less likely to engage in political
bickering. He noted recent disputes between the
Outsider Party and the Michigan Party, and the
Students' Party with the Michigan Party.
"I think partisan bickering is one of the unfortu-
nate costs of the party system in MSA," Bolger said.
Besides dealing with the traditional assembly
issues, Bolger said the party would also work on
"Academics is one of the major reasons why
students are on campus," Bolger said.
The Protest Party's platform calls for establish-
ing relations with the faculty, making graduation
requirements clear and demanding teaching assis-
tants pass competency requirements.
Bolger said the party also supports working to
expand Entree Plus, increasing recycling on campus
and increasing involvement on North Campus.
Trevor Moeller - Teri Steinberg
- - , , ,
With the endorsement of the National Women's
Rights Organizing Coalition (NWROC) in hand,
RC sophomore Jodi Masley will run as an indepen-
dent candidate for MSA president with LSA first-
year student Jessica Curtin for vice president.
NWROC is best known for its protests against
the Ku Klux Klan both nationally and on campus.
The two candidates said they plan to lead the
fight against racism and rape on campus."I think
racism on campus is rampant and I think it is covered
up," Masley said. "Black students face particularly
severe forms of discrimination on this campus."
To increase the numbers of minority groups on
campus, the two call for free tuition and open admis-
sions for the University.
"We don't believe the University should be an
elite institution," Curtin said. "We believe education
is a right for everyone."
Besides dealing with campus racism, Masley
said the assembly should lead the fight against rape.
"We should have demonstrations, we should
take action and make it clear that this is not a place
where this will be tolerated," Masley said.
The Michigan Party
She said the assembly should set up committees
of investigation to expose harassment on campus.
"We think there are professors and counselors
who are harassing students now, but these people
have been protected by the administration," Masley
said. "We feel we should set up committees of
investigation and expose it."
Masley criticized the assembly's work on the
Statement of Student Rights on Responsibilities, the
code of non-academic conduct.
"The main thing MSA spent its time doing has
been proposing amendments to the code," Masley
said. "MSA should be protesting the very existence
of the code."
Masley said the assembly should organize stu-
dents against the code and work to eliminate it.
The code is not the only part of the University the
two would like to see eliminated. Curtin said the
slate wants to work for an elimination of the Depart-
ment of Public Safety and replacing it with students
"We do think that MSA is just kissing up to the
administration," Curtin said.
Julie Neenan - Jacob Stern
Of the three new parties that have entered the
MSA presidential race, the Outsider Party is the
largest, with 21 candidates - none of whom have
ever served on the assembly before.
Despite their inexperience with the assembly,
members of the Outsider Party have plenty of sug-
gestions for MSA.
Outsider Party presidential candidate Trevor
Moeller and his running mate Teri Steinberg have
created a plan to restructure MSA.
"We want to eliminate seven big, wasteful com-
mittees and create eight smaller, focused commit-
tees," said Moeller, an LSA junior.
He said there is a need for the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities, the code of
non-academic conduct, but wants to change it from
its current form.
The Outsider Party has drawn up 19 proposed
amendments to the current code.
"The proposed amendments are what we want to
do when we are in office," said Steinberg, an SNRE
Steinberg said not being involved in the assem-
bly will make the party more effective.
"As far as being an outsider to MSA, we believe
we're more linked to the student body," Steinberg
said. "The most important issue to us is that the
insiders of MSA have not reached the outsiders."
Besides ideas for the code and the structure of the
assembly, the Outsider Party also proposes revamp-
ing the Student Book Exchange.
Under the plan, the book exchange would be
controlled by MSA and use a-$5 line-item fee from
tuition to hire a director, accountants, staff, comput-
ers, an initial book supply and a lease in a building
"I think it's a very attractive, original idea that
should be carefully considered," Moeller said.
Moeller said improving the assembly may be the
last way to save the student government.
"In 1992, the regents ordered (Vice President for
Student Affairs) Maureen Hartford to revamp stu-
dent government or consider its replacement,"
"We may have little time before she takes such
Christian Payne - Doug Kligman
Despite holding the office of MSA president for
the last year, the Michigan Party is running a cam-
paign for change.
The party's platform focuses on the proposed
All-Campus Constitution, which the Michigan Party
drafted. Students will be voting on the constitution
during this election.
Julie Neenan, the Michigan Party's presidential
candidate and an LSA junior, said her party's expe-
rience on the assembly helped them make the changes.
Neenan currently serves as the chair of the Campus
"We've had the experience to know what needs
to be changed," Neenan said.
Besides the constitutional reform, the Michigan
Party's platform pledges to both amend and elimi-
nate the Statement of Student Rights and Responsi-
bilities, to improve campus safety and to keep stu-
dent group funding high.
"Student funding is one of the most important
things MSA does," Neenan said. "It ensures that
these groups can exist and carry out their functions."
The Michigan Party is also proposing a change to
the way the assembly funds the Ann Arbor Tenants'
Currently, AATU receives a direct amount of
funding from the MSA budget, but the Michigan
Party wants AATU to be treated like any other
Vice presidential candidate Jacob Stern, an LSA
junior, said his party opposes the present method of
funding for the pro-tenant organization. "This money
is no strings attached. They can do whatever they
want with the money," Stem said.
If AATU has to apply for funding, Stern said it
would probably receive less money from the MSA
Budget Priorities Committee, which he now chairs.
The Michigan Party also supports putting a stu-
dent on the Board of Regents, a ballot issue that was
proposed by Neenan. "State law is that you can't
have a student serving on the Board of Regents,"
"We'd like to have one serving as an ex-officio
member to ensure representation."
SauraSau - Leonardo Garcia
The other candidates can talk all they want about
changing MSA, but first they need to inform the
students, said independent presidential candidate
"There has to be a basic respect and knowledge
of what the MSA does," said Payne, an LSA sopho-
Payne's running mate, LSA sophomore Doug
Kligman, said some of the assembly's problems are
exemplified by his and Payne's failed attempt to
start the Wolverine Party this semester.
To form an MSA party, a group needs five
students running from at least three different schools
or colleges. One of the Wolverine Party's candidates
was from the School of Music, which is not an open
seat in this election.
"All I asked for was to replace the School of
Music candidate with an eligible candidate," Kligman
said. He said the candidates' packet, which details
how to run for MSA, was "very vague."
Since they did not meet the qualifications, the
Wolverine Party candidates will be on the ballot as
"We didn't have people from three different
schools, but is that what makes student representa-
tion?" Payne asked.
As election director last fall, Payne said he saw
many of the problems in the assembly. "I could see,
and it got me angry, a lot of what (the assembly) was
a group of little kids playing politician," he said. "It
seemed to me it was a club for them and the students
were paying for it."
To help improve students' knowledge of MSA,
the two support an idea by Vice President for Stu-
dent Affairs Maureen A. Hartford to have represen-
tatives elected by district.
"People would be more likely to know who the
candidates are," Kligman said. "People should know
what is going on in MSA and they just don't."
Payne said before the assembly can tackle the
larger problems, it must gain the support of the
"Once we have the backing of the students, we
will have more power to address the issues."
James Kovacs - Dug Song
.. r' ti k iL ti il cif ey
With the phrase "Determine Ourselves" ast
meaning behind its name, the DO Party is det
mined to make MSA a diverse body.
In order to effectively serve the student body,t
assembly must become more representative, s
Saura Sahu, the party's presidential candidate.
The LSA junior said he will create a President
Advisory Board to work with the MSA preside
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By becoming more diverse, the assembly will
become more approachable for every student on
campus, Sahu said.
Of the five-member DO Party, three members
are minorities and two are women.
The DO Party's candidate for vice president,
Leonardo Garcia, a first-year Engineering student,
said the variety of candidates is important to the
Independent presidential candidate James Kovacs
and his running mate Dug Song are not running an
They refused to be interviewed in person or over
the phone and they did not attend the MSA presiden-
tial debate. Instead, the two are using e-mail and
computer conferences to spread their ideas across
the information highway and campus.
vanced as they are Koviaes~aidSong propose in-
creasing education. "Computer literacy is one of our
highest priorities," Song said.
Despite their unique methodology, the two said
they are serious about the campaign. "We are serious
as death," Song said.
Kovacs, who serves as an LSA Student Govern-
ment representative, said MSA needs to improve the