14-The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 22, 1996
I. * 0 *
As elections approach, parties try to relate to voters
By Laurie Ma
The most common misconception plaguing
the Michigan Student Assembly is that "MSA
can't do anything," say several candidates run-
ning in the upcoming presidential election.
Vowing to increase financial aid and em-
phasizing the past year's increase in student
group funding, the candidates say the 1996
campaign has waged war on that myth.
"Students are continually wanting to under-
stand how MSA is affecting their lives," said
Jonathan Freeman, Students' Party MSA presi-
As the March 27-28 elections near and cam-
paign fliers decorate the campus from the
fishbowl to the Diag, candidates are trading
promises with voters at residence halls, Greek
houses, committee meetings and coffee houses.
Even with these campaign efforts, some
students say the assembly's visibility is too
"Even if they weren't doing their job, I
wouldn't know," said Haewon Kwon, an LSA
Although candidates have plastered the walls
of Angell Hall and decorated posterboards
across campus with campaign announcements,
some students say publicity about assembly
business disappears after elections.
"I don't think they publicize enough," said
Suresh Pothiraj, an LSA sophomore. "The
only times I hear about what they're doing is
through my friends (on the Michigan Party)."
Several of the slates have predicted a larger
turnout than last winter's 14 percent of the
With the assembly's recent involvement in
the Graduate Employees Organization's con-
tract negotiations and campus child care funds,
graduate students and campus family housing
residents are being targeted more than ever.
Both groups traditionally have a low participa-
tion in the elections, but are more likely to vote
this year, Freeman said.
MPS a Slates
post can didates
Daily Staff Reporter
"They're very appreciative that we're actu-
ally aware," Freeman said.
Afterthree years ofdomination bythe Michi-
gan Party, candidates are addressing concerns
about the assembly's structure and philoso-
phies, but their primary focus has been on
"There's a lot more to campus than 3909
Michigan Union," said Fiona Rose, Michigan
Party presidential candidate.
A member of the party currently in power,
Rose said the Michigan Party won't concen-
trate on internal assembly issues.
"We are concerned with students; we are not
primarily concerned with internal student gov-
ernment," she said.
Rose said the party is concerned with re-
sponding to student concerns about student
group funding, the "appalling cost of living on
campus," the lack of campus parking and the
quality of academics at the University.
Wolverine Party presidential candidate Andy
Schor said a lack of presidential accessibility
under current MSA President Flint Wainess
has limited the assembly's access to student
opinions and suggestions.
Schor said he would establish official office
hours of at least one hour per day to meet with
students and faculty on MSA matters. In re-
sponse to challenges by
said he would designate
time each week to meet with
students on North Campus.
"If I am elected president
I will spend one office hour isc g 'i
a week on North Campus
- maybe I'll spend more
than an hour," Schor said.
As current External Re-
lations Committee chair, at
least one of Schor's projects requires coopera-
tion from the city, state and federal govern-
ments. WolverineCorps, a alternative to the
financially burdened AmeriCorpsprogram,was
born during last year's MSA campaign as a
"financial aid alternative that would trade tu-
ition dollars for community service in the Ann
"At first it came up as something to cam-
paign on ... it turned out to be an awesome idea
- something that would work if AmeriCorps
was defunded," Schor said.
Each party, however, did make suggestions
in their platforms for internal assembly im-
With the "Non-BPC Crisis" looming in the
assembly's not-so-distant past, three of the
parties suggested precautions for avoiding fis-
The Students' Party has proposed a five-
point program for reforming the Budget Priori-
ties Committee, including spending guidelines
for committee and assembly members on con-
The Michigan Party platform encourages
the establishment of sufficient reserves in case
of "unexpected financial emergency."
The Liberty Party's proposal requires an
adjustment in the source of the funds. The
party suggested changing the MSA student fee
from a mandatory tuition fee to a voluntary
"The people who don't want their money
redistributed through the MSA system will
have that option," said Martin Howrylak, Lib-
erty Party presidential candidate.
Students would have the opportunity to
choose whether or not to send their money to
MSA, as well as choose where MSA would use
that money, Howrylak said.
The Students' Party platform states that no
party member shall accept compensation for
their position from the University through pro-
grams such as the Leadership 2017 training
program. Wainess accepted the program's com-
The Michigan, Students' and Wolverine
parties each endorsed the establishment of an
MSA office on North Campus.
This year's multi-page platforms, issue pam-
phlets and three MSA presidential debates are
attempts to bring issues to the forefront of the
campaign, the candidates say.
"The issues are becoming more and more
important in the MSA campaigns," said MSA
Vice President Sam Goodstein. "It's a totally
different campaign than it was four years ago."
While North Campus issues, campus safety
Housing and undergraduates about creating
new parking structures on campus.
"Students are picking up the short end of the
stick in terms of where they get to park," Rose
Rose said building parking structures be-
hind the Student Publications Building and
Palmer Field are both viable options under
The Liberty Party's platform includesaplank
supported by the presidential ticket, but not the
entire party. Howrylak said the presidential
ticket supports the striking employees of the
Detroit Newspaper Agency and the removal of
all Detroit News and Free Press distribution
boxes from campus.
"The presidential ticket has decided it will
have one plank that is different than the party
platform," Howrylak said.
The independent ticket of Geoff Tudisco
and Adam Mesh stressed increased student
contact with MSA and the University faculty.
Tudisco, the presidential candidate, said the
ticket encourages professors to increase office
hours and teach discussion sections.
Despite the efforts to focus on issues, the
parties still argue the impact of ideology and
approach on addressing those issues.
"How you do something is as important, if
not more important, than what you do," Free-
ties running presidential
candidates, three cur-
rently hold seats on the
assembly. While the
Michigan, Students' and
Wolverine parties have
with executive officers
and committee chairs on
the assembly, the oldest ofthe three, the Michi-
gan Party, was founded in 1993.
"I have no idea which one is which," said
Jennifer Moran, an LSA first-year student.
Although students on and outside of the
assembly criticize internal "partisan bicker-
ing," assembly members insist that parties
provide clearer choices and a better organized
"How can you not run with parties? Hu-
mans naturally group themselves together,"
said Wolverine Party vice presidential candi-
date Matt Curin. "You can't win without a
The recent debate surrounding the use of
MSA party names in the LSA-Student Gov-
ernment election put even more emphasis on
the importance of listing a party name next to
a candidate on the ballot.
"When you have 57 candidates running for
19 seats, you're not going to be familiar with
19 of them," Rose said. Party affiliations help
students make choices based on the goals and
ideals of the party, she said.
"Itdremoves the popularity contest from the
campaign," Wainess said.
Several ofthe candidates attended the North
Atlantic Students for Higher Education con-
ference this year and returned with stories of
schools envious ofthe University's MSA party
"For a college campus, it's really a sophis-
ticated system," Goodstein said.
Rose said the parties help candidates to
"pool resources" and campaign for each other.
"A lot of individuals were attracted to run-
ning with the Michigan Party because of its
name," Mehta said.
Occupying all MSA and LSA-SG executive
offices and a majority of the MSA body seats,
several parties said the Michigan Party is the
most well-known on campus.
"The Michigan Party by far has the best
name recognition,"'said Goodstein, a member
of the party. "The Michigan Party voters, if
they bother to vote, (say), 'Oh, well, I always
vote for the Michigan Party."'
Freeman said this name recognition almost
worked against the Michigan Party, due to the
LSA-SG election complications.
"(Using the name) the Students' Party, yes,
is a plus. But I don't think it's going to make
or break this election. It will, however, make
or break the Michigan Party's election."
Members of the Wolverine Party say they
have consistently campaigned with the idea of
being the middle-of-the-road party, and the
party of the coalition.
"I don't think we're getting all our support
Candidates look to
members for funds'
By Laurie Mayk
Daily Staff Reporter
Without the slush funds and tax
form contributions of a federal cam-
paign, Michigan Student Assembly
elections sweep the pockets of its can-
didates for campaign funds.
"It costs a lot more than people would ,
like to think," said Jonathan Freeman,
Students' Party presidential candidate.,
Freeman refused to release official cam-
paign budget numbers for the Students'
"Even our slate doesn't know how
much we're spending," he said.
MSA does not limit or monitor cam-
paign spending, said MSA Elections
Director Meghan Newman.
"We used to impose the campaign
funding limits when MSA used to fund
the campaigns, but we don't do that
anymore," Newman said.
The assembly limits spending if a
party receives money as a student
ari thneo the Rtids, Pr,.;,;i
the line" and spend no more than
$100 for the election, said Martin
Howrylak, the Liberty Party presi-
"It is our belief that the best way to
get the word out is for friends and
party members to pass the words on to
other friends, and keep passing infor-
mation on down the line," Howrylak
Andy Schor, Wolverine Party pre
dential candidate, said the WolveriW
Party's funds come from "our own pock-
"I don't know how much was spent
because different people spent differ-
ent things," Schor said.
The spending is often done sporadi-
cally, Schor said. Candidates and party
members take the initiative to buy post-
ers, stickers, paints and fliers.
Several parties request $20-25 do
tions from party candidates.
Nora Salas, United Peoples' Coali-
tion presidential candidate, said UPC
does not collect dues or fees from its
candidates or members.
"We are relying on voluntary dona-
,;nn frm addts anda fewsun.