100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

November 15, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 15, 1996
They roll out of bed before the
sun comes up to plaster campus
with colore fliers that cost hun-
dreds of dollars.

FRIDAYFOCUS

Quest for the

Assembly

They miss all of their classes to meet
as many students as-they can before
they lose their voices from shouting and
their hands turn blue from hand-shak-
ing.
They do all of this in hopes that stu-
dents will circle the No. I next to their
names on the Michigan Student
Assembly ballot next week.
"(Running for MSA) certainly does
require tons of time and getting up real-
ly, really early," said Students' Party
Coordinator Chad Bailey. "It is really
hard work sometimes."
To help them cope with the long and
usually hectic hours in their quest for
an MSA seat, many candidates join or
form parties to centralize their efforts
and pool resources.
x"Parties do-provide guidelines - I
lDarned a lot when I first ran with a
party," said MSA Vice President Probir
Mehta, a member of the Michigan
Party. "Parties give people a sense of
direction and purpose - but you
always want to make sure candidates
can make individual choices and have
a say on what goals the party wants to
achieve."
Party idas
For people who have similar ideas on
student issues, candidates say parties
can provide guidance and a collective
home base.
"Our campaign is centered around
our party - we share the same inter-
ests and ideas," said Nihilist Party
Chair Andrew Serowik. "We are a
strong collective group, which works to
promote individual candidates."
Kenneth Jones, spokesperson for the
United People's Cgalition, said all of
his party's candidates were also work-
ing toward common goals.
"Our campaign is a group effort,"
Jones said. "We have a strong group of
individual candidates, but work togeth-
er and are in constant contact - our
message is a group one."
But other party members said indi-
vidual candidates were stronger than a
collective party theme.
"We aren't doing anything together
as a party," said Crush the Purple
Dinosaur Party member David Burden.
"But a lack of a strong party is not
going to change anybody's mind about
us."
A "joke" party name can also work
as a ploy to garner some votes. Besides
Burden's party's campaign against a
fictional dinosaur, the Slumber Party
also hopes that a zany campaign label
will attract some extra support. Both
parties are new to the MSA arena this
semester, as is the Nihilist Party.
"We hope that people who don't nor-
mally vote, or do vote but don't know
what's going on, will vote for us," said
Slumber Party member Ted Chen. "I
think people will notice our name first."
Parties with weird and wacky names
are nothing new to assembly elections.
Two years ago Mike House won an
LSA seat on the assembly under the
Beavis and Butthead Party label.
Campaign in aning
One of the most important campaign
issues parties face is how to pay for
their many activities.
Most parties said they take up a gen-
eral collection from each candidate to
finance party posters and advertising.
"We ask each candidate to make a
contribution of $15 for party posters,"'
said Michigan Party Chair Dan Serota.
"We use that money to produce things

JOSH BIGGS/Daily

In the Michigan Student Assembly's chambers in the Michigan Union, members participate in a regular meeting Tuesday. Twenty-four seats are up for grabs in next week's election.

like party posters, which everyone
helps to design - but each candidate
can spend their own money to make
their own individual posters."
Most candidates reported spending
between $50 and 200 just for individ-
ual posters and advertising during cam-
paign season. Costs for presidential
election season in the spring can run
into the thousands.
But other parties said they would not
ask their members to chip in to a gen-
eral operating fund.
"We prefer to find money from
University groups who are willing to
support our cause," Jones said. "It has-
n't hurt us yet. We've been able to run
a successful campaign - but if we
have to stand out in 40 feet of snow
with buckets to raise funds, we will do
that before we will use our candidates'
money." Jones said UPC gets campaign
funding from members of student
groups such Alianza, the Black Student
Union and several engineering groups
and societies on campus.
Victors Party spokesperson Nicholas
Kirk said his party was also relying on
outside sources to finance campaign
activities.
"We are drawing support from out-
side grassroots students organizations,"
Kirk said. "This is not a mommy-and-
daddy-driven campaign - this is a
group of students with jobs who are
willing to provide funds and want to see
us succeed." Kirk said the Victors Party
receives money from individual stu-
dents who are involved in a variety of
student organizations on campus.
Mehta said the high cost of fielding

an MSA campaign often bars potential
candidates from running because of a
lack of funds. Mehta and MSA
President Fiona Rose spent more than
$1,000 on their presidential campaign
last spring.
"It is becoming very elitist because it
cuts out students with great ideas
because they don't have the money to
get elected," Mehta said.
Mehta said the assembly should look
into imposing spending limits for indi-
vidual campaigns.
"We don't want to hinder people's
ability to win an election," Mehta said.
"But at the same time, mommy and
daddy should not be able to buy an
assembly seat for their kid."
While paying for the posters that
bury campus during election time
monopolizes much campaign money,
parties in the past have used money on
more off-the-wall campaign gimmicks.
"(Last year) we rented a golf cart -
we drove it around the Diag and gave
people a ride to their classes," Serota
said. "I'm not sure how well it worked
and it was very expensive - but it was
fun."
Serota also has turned a few heads on
campus with his huge advertisements
on the metal boards that line the Diag.
"(The Diag boards) really aren't that
expensive - they cost only $6 a week,"
Serota said. "But the ads means you
have to get up really early before school
and go wait in line - people start wait-
ing at about 4 a.m." However, several
of Serota's Diag boards were stolen
Monday night or Tuesday morning.
Besides their catchy name, the
Slumber Party
plans to hold a
"slumber party on
the Diag."
"All of our
supporters are
going to rally on
the Diag and we
are planning to

sleep out there," said party member
Jonathan Kuo. "The weather's gotten a
little more cold than we would have
liked, but we are pretty dedicated."
The alarm clock
Unfortunately for the University cus-
todial staff, MSA election season
means blanketing campus with thou-
sands of posters and fliers promoting
both parties and individual candidates.

spokesperson Martin Howrylak.
"Maybe we'll be up at 7 (a.m.), at the
earliest, but we aren't going to go total-
ly overboard."
But as candidates toil long hours to
put up their fliers and posters, members
of the University custodial staff work
just as hard to take them down.
"Those fliers shouldn't be on the wall
- they are only allowed to be on bul-
letin boards and designated areas," said
Plant and
tions B u i l d i n g
rinifrAQA S e r v i c e s

One of the
things party
members h i p s
provide candi-
dates is the
opportunity to be
part of an orga-
nized group of
dedicated candi-
dates who work
collectively to
cover the campus
with paper - all
long before the
first 8 a.m. class
begins.
"We just came
off a national
campaign and are
still completely in
campaign form
- we are ready
to work 20-hour
days, seven days
a week and we
are ready to get
up as early as it
takes," said Kirk,

Party Affilia

UT the 1iu students running Tor MSA
seats, almost 75 percent are affiliated
with a campus party, The following are
the numbers of candidates listed for
each party.

Michigan Party
Liberty Party
Victors Party
Students' Party
Crush the Purple Dinosaur
Nihilist Party
United People's Coalition
Slumber Party
Independent

14
11.
10
9
8
8'
8
5
28

M a n a g e r
N a t h a n
Norman. "If
they aren't in
the appropriate
places, they
should be taken
down and we
ao do that con-
stantly."
But candi-
dates said they
were willing to
break some of
the rules and put
up fliers day
after day to get
their message
out.
"Getting up
early is nothing
new to me -
we'll be up

this term's elections.
Burden was one of several current
MSA representatives who abandone*
the now-defunct Wolverine Party to
become an independent before signing
on with the Crush the Purple Dinosaur
Party, founded this fall.
"There is no reason for the party sys-
tem, so I don't miss being in a strong
party," Burden said.
LSA Rep. Andy Schor, who ran for
president under the Wolverine label in
March, said his former party worked to
make the assembly more non-partisan
but that parties are still instrumental A
running a successful campaign.
"(The Wolverine Party) wanted to
eliminate politics from the assembly -
I think we did that. We swung the vote
towards non-partisanship," Schor said.
"People are more independent now -
but they still need their parties to run
because everybody knows the parties
are election machines, that's why the
Michigan Party will never fold."
The Michigan Party has held MSA's
gavel since the party's founding four
years ago.
Schor is now one of the 28 indepen-
dent candidates vying for an assembly
seat without party support. He said run-
ning as an independent is an uphill climb.
"l'm gonna do everything I can to get
elected," Schor said. "But I don't think
it's practical for people to run for LSA
seats as independents - yet. Hopefully
I can change that."
Rose said parties no longer play the
dominant role on the assembly that they
have in the recent past.
"I do think parties have declined
but that's because individuals have
strengthened," Rose said. "In the past,
parties have divided the assembly but
I think now members are not willing
to get caught up in partisanship and
parties' divisiveness - now mem-
bers are willing to look beyond pain
ties and work to move the assembly
forward."

Eleven incumbents are running for re-
election. The following are their party
affiliations on this year's ballot.

The Michigan Party
Crush the Purple Dinosaur
Independents

5
2.
4

Elections are scheduled for Nov. 20-21.

who is also president of the campus
chapter of the College Republicans.
"As president of the CR, I've done all
kinds of campaign work and every mem-
ber of my party is as focused as I am."
But other parties said campaigning
did not have to be an all-out blitz to the
finish line.
"I wouldn't call our campaign hectic
- nobody's going to get up at 2 a.m.
or 4 (a.m.)," said Liberty Party

most mornings
doing poster-
ing," Serowik said. "We use posters
and they are important for name recog-
nition, but they will not be a main focus
of our campaign - we are concerned
with the amount of litter involved."
Decline of MSA parties?
There are eight parties running can-
didates in this term's election, but one
of last spring's major slates, the
Wolverine Party, is not on the ballot for

MSA predicts low turnout for elections

Ryan Hansen is not planning to vote in next
week's Michigan Student Assembly elections
- and he is not alone.
"I've seen posters around and know about
the elections but I really don't know any of the
candidates," the LSA sophomore said. "I
haven't put forth the effort to get to know them
and no one has come to me."
Hansen is one of the roughly 88 percent of
students who did not vote in last term's MSA
elections.
Yet assembly officials say that next week's
elections, which will fill 24 assembly seats in
13 separate schools, probably won't even draw
the sparse 12 percent of students who voted
last term.
"Winter is always higher because you do
have presidential slates running," said MSA
Election Director Angie Blake. "The presiden-
tial elections always generate a lot of excite-

MSA Vice President Probir Mehta said last
term's turnout was disappointing but that it
was caused by a number of factors that neither
voters nor candidates could control.
"A year and a half ago we had more than 20
percent of students vote - and 20 percent is a
good solid number and shows a lot of interest,"
Mehta said. "Last semester there weren't enough
polling sites open and there was a shortage of
poll workers and of course it was really cold -
the low turnout was contingent on a lot of fac-
tors."
But some candidates said the low turnout
gave them a small audience on which to focus
campaign efforts.
"The hardest thing is trying to reach the tar-
get audience - 32,000 students is a lot of peo-
ple," said Liberty Party Chair Martin
Howrylak. "When 92 percent of those students
don't vote, it is perplexing to think of ways to
oret them tvi :nte - hut it a1,o mean-, we can

re-election are required to work for at least
four hours either at polling sites or counting
ballots.
MSA Rules and Elections Committee ChaT
Ryan Friedrichs said the extra help from
assembly members would help alleviate the
election director's workload.
"This rule has always been in our constitu-
tion, but in past years I don't think it has been
enforced very well - the Rules and Elections
Committee was really poorly run," Friedrichs
said. "This year we're making sure everyone
who is supposed to sign up does - their time
should really help get things done faster."
Blake said after the votes are all cast the real
work begins.
"Ballot counting isvery tiring - before any-
thing is opened we have to validate all of the
voters' names and ID numbers against a master
list from the registrar's office," Blake said.
"TI'h iiocyet problem we av is neoles

, ,.{.b. f _ ' .. .'::. .r .....::.:.... - _.aY ... cr ;, , . kr?,:Ldn. .. .. .'. i'EiCiG4 erta '?'4? a , .f. ' , ..;..

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan