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November 11, 1994 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-11

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 11, 1994 - 3


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Daily Staff Reporter
Do you know who your student repre-
sentatives are?
They collect your student fees. They
give money to student groups. They say
they represent your concerns to the admin-
And next week, students like you can
choose who they will be for the next year.
As the only campus-wide student gov-
erning body, the Michigan Student Assem-
bly is charged with representing student
The 43 candidates are competing for 23
seats in elections Wednesday and Thurs-
day. Polling will take place at sites through-
out campus during the two days.
Three parties - the Michigan Party, the
Students' Party, and the Wolverine Party -
are seeking seats for their members.
Nine candidates are running as indepen-
Campus safety and funding for the Ann
Arbor Tenants' Union (AATU), top the list
of issues in this election.
Tenants' Union Funding
The most controversial issue facing the
assembly this term has been AATU fund-
ing. Funding for the tenants' union has been
the subject of MSA debate since its first
budget meeting Sept. 20.
Two parties, the Michigan Party and the
Students' Party, have taken opposing posi-
tions on the issue of AATU funding.
"If it hasn't been clear before this point,
it should be now.... The Michigan Party is
against the AATU," said Andrew Wright, a
ichigan Party candidate. "We are anti-
funding the tenants' union with a line item."
The tenants' union previously received
about -$23,000 from MSA through a line
item in its budget. This term, AATU was
allocated only $2,000.
"If students don't want the tenants' union
to have a line item, they should vote for us.
If they do want them to have a line item, they
shouldn't vote for us," Wright said. Wright
is running for re-election as an LSA repre-
The Michigan Party platform says AATU
should be required to apply to the assembly's
Budget Priorities Committee (BPC) for fund-
ing, just as student groups do.
The Students' Party supports restoring
funding for the tenants' union to original
levels, including giving the tenants' union

line-item funding.
"We would like to see. the AATU re-
funded to the full amount," said Students'
Party candidate Devon Bodoh.
Assembly members asking AATU "to
come and beg again for a nominal amount of
money" violates MSA's mission to fund
student services, Bodoh said.
Students' Party candidate Roger De Roo
said, "I think the big issue (of this cam-
paign) is providing sufficient funding for





Who will fill these seats in Michigan Student Assembly chambers? Students will decide by voting in elections Wednesday and Thursday.

the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union. It's the one
organization on campus that affects even more
students than MSA, because everyone has to
live somewhere."
Michigan Party candidate Sam Morris said
he does not support funding AATU through a
line-item. "I haven't been able to find two
people who have the same idea of what the
tenants.' union does," he said. "It seems like
they do a lot of things other student organiza-
tions and University offices already do."
Independent candidate Dave Newberry
said AATU should "go the same route" as any
other student organization seeking funding.
Students' Party candidate Fiona Rose said,
"It's important to guarantee funding (to the
AATU). Although I'm not sure I fully agree
with the line item, ... this is an important
group, and it's vital to keep them there for
Campus Safety
Campus safety has always been a concern
for MSA, but during the past year Ann Arbor's
serial rapist and serial molester have pushed
the issue to the forefront.
Michigan Party candidate Jeff Brown co-
chaired a task force that organized the Cam-
pus Safety Walk-Though attended by Univer-
sity administrators, city officials, MSA mem-
bers and other students. Brown said he hopes
to continue his work in this area if he is re-
During the walk, participants identified
areas on- and off-campus that seemed unsafe.
"We're really just getting started," Brown
said, adding that the task force still needs to
compile data gathered that night before im-
provements can be made.
Wolverine Party candidate Colleen Flynn
said, "Campus safety is a big issue. ... We
should walk around campus and find things
that need to be improved, and then decide'as
a group what should be done."
Independent candidate Angie Kelic said
she would like to work to improve campus
safety on North Campus.
"I was with the group (on the walk-through)
that tested the emergency phone on Glacier
Way and the police did not respond," she said.
"We picked .up the phone, and they an-

swered, and we didn't respond because you
aren't supposed to have to (for police to re-
spond to the call). We stood there for 22
minutes and no one ever came," she said.
Kelic said she would also like to improve
safety in commuter parking lots in that area.
Michigan Party candidate Melissa Ander-
son said, "I'd like to see MSA encourage
student forums so students can learn ways to
be more safe and we can learn the issues
they're dealing with. I'd like to see the sources
we already have on campus, like Safewalk,
expanded, especially since it's getting dark
earlier here now.,
Other issues
Involving student athletes with the rest of
the University, improving meal plans and
providing students with some representation
on the University Board of Regents are other
issues MSA candidates want to address in the
coming year.
The Students' Party has committed itself
to improving the University's atmosphere for
students of color. Recruiting and retaining
these students, and obtaining tenure for fac-
ulty of color should be important issues for
MSA, Bodoh said.
Rose also said she would like to bring
more diversity to the assembly. "Students of
color don't realize they too can have a voice in
MSA," she said.
The Students' Party says they want to give
more support to minority organizations on
The Michigan Party's platform says the
party aims to "involve the student athlete
community in University-wide events and
Abel Sanchez, a diver for the University's
swimming team and Michigan Party candi-
date, said he is running because "student
athletes aren't as involved with the school as
they should be."
Al Lodges, a hockey player and Michigan
Party candidate, said he is running to "give
student athletes more say in what happens on
main campus."
Lodges said he will not only try to repre-
sent student athletes, but the student body as
a whole.

Another issue the Students' Party would
like to address is the assembly's budget pri-
orities. Rose said she would like to examine is
the way the assembly spends its money.
"Some of the administrative costs could
be cut, and some programs slashed. I'd like to
look at the lobbyist and see if that's really
necessary," she said.
Students' Party candidate Jonathan Free-
man said, "The assembly needs to be finan-
cially responsible. MSA has got to get its
affairs together.... It's hard as a representa-
tive to say I'd love to so something (for
constituents) but we don't have the money
because 65 percent of our budget is going just
so we can exist. That's not intelligent, and it's
not responsible."
The Students' Party and the Michigan
Party platforms agree on the importance of
providing some sort of representation for stu-
dents on the Board of Regents.
Both groups want to have a student attend
Board of Regents meetings. Even if the stu-
dent could not vote, party organizers want
students to have direct dialogue with the re-
Most independent candidates chose not
join a party because the party platforms do not
reflect their views. Many focus on issues that
may be only one aspect of a party's platform,
or may not be addressed by parties at all.
Kelic, who is seeking re-election as an
Engineering representative, said her main is-
sue is extending MSA services to North Cam-
pus. Increasing funding to Engineering orga-
nizations is a priority, she said.
Kelic said she would also like to open a
North Campus MSA office, to improve stu-
dents' access to the assembly.
Independent candidate Trevor Hewitt said
he wants to reform the University's meal plan
system. "I would like to change it so you can
pick any meals you want on a meal plan, and
if you cancel a plan, you should get 100
percent of your money back, instead of 47
percent," he said.
So, do you know who your student repre-
sentatives are?
You know the issues. You know their
names. The ballots arrive next week.

Ballot asks
students to
decide fee
Daily Staff Reporter
In times of skyrocketing tuition and fees.
it's no surprise that the Michigan Student
Assembly's student fee may be on its way up
next term.
This time, however, students will decide
on a possible-fee increase through questions
on the MSA ballot. Students can vote in MSA
elections Wednesday and Thursday next week.
The first ballot question asks if the student
fee should be increased by 25 cents to help
fund the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union (AATU).
Funding for the tenants' union has been a
divisive issue for the assembly for more than
a year.
AATU Coordinator Pattrice Mauer said
she is confident the fee increase will pass. She
claims that MSA funding is the only way the
office can continue offering its services to
students without a fee.
Last year, AATU received about $23,000
from MSA in line-item funding. The assem-
bly, in a move spearheaded by Michigan Party
members, refused to grant that funding this
year. MSA gave the tenants' union only
$2,000, a fraction of the interim funding it had
AATU had asked the assembly for be-
tween $6,000 and $8,000 for interim funding,
until a fee increase could be approved by
The University Board of Regents would
have to approve any fee increase before it
came into effect.
The regents may not approve the fee in-
crease because it could violate the University's
fee cap said Michigan Party candidate An-
drew Wright.
A second ballot question asks if the stu-
dent fee should be increased by 18 cents for
one term. The question, sponsored by LSA
Rep. Jonathan Freeman, was intended to re-
plenish the general reserve fund after monies
were transferred to AATU.
Tenants' union supporters in the assembly
have failed on several attempts to make this
Freeman said, "(The question's) original
purpose and intent were good, but at this
point, it's just not needed." He said he would
speak to MSA Election Director Christine
Young about removing the question from the
Young said the deadline for corrections to
the ballot was Nov. 5, and since the ballots
have been printed, she is unable to make any
changes at this point.
These questions are on the ballot:
® Proposal One: "Shall the MSA Fee
be increased by $0.25, effective at
the beginning of the Winter term of
1995, for the exclusive purpose of
funding the Ann Arbor Tenants'
U Proposal Two: "Shall the MSA
student fee be raised for one
academic term by $0.18 to go directly
to the general reserve fund?"

Facing low voter turnout, candidates
struggle to gain students' attention

Daily Staff Reporter
Next week, 23 new representatives will be
elected to represent students on the Michigan
student Assembly.
However, if history is any indication, these
student "representatives" will be chosen in
elections where less than 10 percent of the
student body vote.
LSA junior Kate Epstein said she does not
vote in MSA elections because "No. 1, I don't

and vice president are chosen.
All registered students are eligible to vote,
but turnout in any MSA election has rarely
exceeded 10 percent of students.
"We're trying to advertise," MSA Election
Director Christine Young said. "We're hoping
to get a good turnout. ... (But) the apathy of
students is remarkable. They don't know who's
running, they don't care and they don't think
MSA has anything to do with them.
"I may have my election staff go into the

If 18,000 people turned out to vote, I don't think
MSA could handle it. We're not printing that
many ballots. I wish we had that problem."
MSA candidates give many reasons that
students should be actively involved in choos-
ing who represents them.
Michigan Party candidate Adam Clampitt
said, "On average we get about 8 to 10 percent
turnout, which is about equivalent to what
students vote in the general elections."
"The University affects the lives of all

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