18 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 13, 1998
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By erard Cohen-V
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0 Extend drop-add deadline to six
weeks after classes begin
Make time limits on parking
meters no less than two hours
* Lower prices on textbooks
T rent nompson
Create a student regent seat
d Design student lobbying program
Create guidebook to orient students
to off-cam pus housing
R Establish lecture-mentorship pro-
The decisions student voters make in next week's
Michigan Student Assembly elections could
impact issues ranging from the creation of a stu-
dent regent to everyday policies such as changing the drop/add
deadline for courses and mitigating parking problems.
Four slates are in the running for MSA president and vice
The withdrawal of one candidate from the Wolverine Party
last month disqualified the party, forcing LSA sophomores
Ferris Hussein and Nick Pavlis to run for president and vice
president as independents. The two candidates are concentrat-
ing their campaign on extending the deadline for adding and
dropping classes, improving parking in Ann Arbor and reduc-
ing textbook costs.
Gaining a seat for a student as a voting member of the
University Board of Regents highlights the campaign of LSA
sophomore Trent Thompson, MSA's External Relations
Committee chair, and LSA first-year student Sarah Chopp, an
MSA representative. Thompson and Chopp are the Students'
Party's picks for president and vice president, respectively.
The major goals of the Students' Party also include struc-
turing a student group to lobby the state Legislature, creating
an informational housing guidebook and establishing a lec-
ture-mentorship program where upperclassmen advise stu-
dents in lecture courses that the students have already taken.
A variety of campus issues are on LSA junior Ryan
Friedrichs' platform. Friedrichs, the MSA's Communications
Committee co-chair, and LSA first-year student Albert Garcia,
the LSA Student Government's Communications Committee
chair, are also in the running as independent candidates.
Friedrichs and Garcia strongly support the student regent
effort, plan to encourage affirmative action discussion through
online dialogue, hope to create an online database of student
groups and expect to work on next semester's LSA diversity
LSA first-year student Elizabeth Keslacy and LSA sopho-
more Michael Enright defected from
the now-defunct Liberty Party, start-
ed the New Frontier Party andare run-
ning as its presidential and vice presi-
dential candidates, respectively. The
New Frontier Party's platform calls \
for changing the meal plan so students IN3
could carry over unused meal credits
to later in the semester, making MSA
student fees optional, reinstating the for-
mer Information Technology Division
billing system and extending the University
The Michigan Party does not have an exec-
utive slate. The party's plans include
expanding uses of the M-Card, conduct-
ing a monthly survey of students to find
out what issues affect undergraduates,
lowering ITD costs and increasing
student group funding.
The Defend Affirmative Action M a r c h 1s
Party is also not putting forth a pres-
idential candidate. The main goal of
the party is to support the University's current affirmative
action policies. It also is calling for increased staffing at cam-
pus computing sites.
The eight executive officer candidates, along with about 60
students running for representative, share many similar views
on the issues, but there are also many points of contention
among the candidates for the University's student governing
Obtaining student representation on the University's Board
of Regents has been an ongoing MSA goal for more than 30
years. Recently, the student regent campaign has been renewed
by the energetic efforts of the assembly's Student Regent Task
Force. The crusade for a student regent has received mixed
reaction from MSA candidates.
The Students' Party and both independent presidential tick-
ets said they support the idea of a student regent.
"It is a shame and embarrassing that U of M is the only Big
t Ten school which does not have an elected student on its board
of regents," Friedrichs said. "It's time for that to change. It's
time for us to catch up"
MSA has been lobbying the Legislature to pass a bill that
would put a student on the board. The other way to create a
voting seat for a student on the board is to gather enough sig-
natures to have a statewide ballot proposal to ask Michigan vot-
ers for their support. The Yes! Yes! Yes! campaign is part of
the effort, trying to get students to agree to pay a $4-5 fee to be
used to fund efforts to gather signatures for the ballot proposal.
But Keslacy and Enright reject MSA's efforts to place a stu-
dent on the board.
t "I think the student regent idea is a really bad idea," Keslacy
said. "If a student wants to become a regent, that's great. They
should either run in their district if they're in-state or get resi-
dency in Michigan and run. I feel that my wants and demands
are being adequately met by the regents right now."
The affirmative action debate
The University's affirmative action policies have recently
been challenged by two lawsuits filed by white applicants
alleging reverse discrimination in the College of Literature,
Science and Arts and the Law School's admissions policies.
Earlier this semester, MSA struck down a proposal that would
have added a ballot question asking whether MSA should
lobby the University to continue using race as a factor in
"Staying on the theme of getting students involved in impor-
tant decisions, we would advocate a referendum on important
issues such as affirmative action," Hussein said. "We want the
everyday student to have a say in what goes on at their school."
Other candidates said that having a question on the ballot is
not an adequate way to decide the fate of affirmative action.
Thompson and Chopp argue that merely asking about the use
of race as a factor in the admissions process ignores the use of
other non-academic criteria in admissions including athletics,
alumni status and gender.
"MSA's primary goal is to educate the student body on both
sides of the issue," Chopp said. "Affirmative action is not a
racial issue totally. You have to take everything into consider-
ation and the ballot question only considered race."
Members of the Defend Affirmative Action Party said
MSA's role should be to help protect the University's affirma-
tive action policies. DAA was instrumental in organizing sup-
port for the National Day of Action activities at the University
last month. During the day-long event, hundreds of students
boycotted class to show their support for affirmative action.
"We think MSA should be taking up the issue of affirmative
action," said Jessica Curtin, an LSA senior running for MSA
representative. "We've been building a student movement to
defend affirmative action on this campus throughout the entire
year. It's our view that that's what MSA should be doing."
Relations with the city and parking
Every day, frustrated student motorists find parking tickets
atop their automobiles. Parking is an issue of concern to stu-
dents and city officials alike. MSA currently has a liaison to
the Ann Arbor City Council who
informs the assembly on issues con-
cerning the University that the city
The New Frontier Party candidates
said they do not think increased rela-
tions with the city would help with
parking problems and other issues.
"I would agree that parking affects
* Store residence hall meal credits to
be used anytime during the semester
Eliminate mandatory MSA student fees
Restore old ITD billing system
U Add more University bus stops
* Create online affirmative action dialogue
Hold meetings of student leaders
twice per semester
* Establish student representation on
the Board of Regents
Increase usage of M-Card to include
parking meters, pay phones and arcades
* Survey students to determine issues
that affect undergraduates
Lower ITD costs
Increase funding to student group
Nathan T'racer Independent
Art and Design
Ksenija Savic Students'
Alok Agrawa New Frontier
Ben Batterson Independent
Michael Chang Independent
Samuel Lopez de Victoria DA A
Jon Malkovich Independent
Sandeep Parikh Michigan
Bryan Pritchard Independent
Boyd Stitt New Frontier
Adam Wieczorek Independent
Kevin Trimmell Jones
Junice La Green
La Dale C. Winling
everyone here," Keslacy said. "As far as what
MSA could do and even what city council
could do, I'm doubtful. There s just no space
in Ann Arbor anymore."
Friedrichs, on the other hand, said MSA
should play a greater role in city politics.
The state Legislature and
When Gov. John Engler announced
earlier this year that he would recom-
and 19th mend a 1.5-percent increase in appro-
priations to the University - lower
than past rates of increase - students
were stunned to learn that tuition may increase by as much as
8 percent. MSA passed a resolution to lobby the state
Legislature for more funding.
"The whole idea (of the lobbying) is to have a student
voice," Chopp said. "Any issue that comes in to our state
House regarding higher education, we should be there to voice
the student perspective."
Mehul Madia, a candidate for representative with the
Michigan Party, said he is in favor of lobbying the state
Legislature against Engler's budget proposal.
"I think they should lobby for that to change or do things
like letter campaigns," said Madia, MSA's Campus
Governance Committee chair. "There's always a question of
the effectiveness of lobbying state Legislature, but I think
that's an issue that should be explored."
Coursepack and textbook prices
Students face the worry of high living costs in Ann Arbor
all the time. Coursepacks and textbooks are especially expen-
sive. Many MSA candidates said they have plans to help
reduce the extra costs that come with attending the University.
"We want to address the problems of the bookstores and
how we are getting robbed by them," Hussein said. "They buy
our used books for only $2-3 dollars only to turn around and
sell them at a 1000-percent mark-up."
Student's Party has promised to establish a student coursep-
ack store, which would sell coursepacks at lower prices, dur-
ing last year's winter election season. Although the project
was never realized, Thompson said this is still a goal of the
"That's something that will definitely get done by this fall,"
Thompson said. "We have contracts with the Union to sell
coursepacks and with professors."
The Michigan Party candidates said they share concern for
the high prices students pay for textbooks.
"I think the textbook issue is something that needs to be
explored. Is there anything that can be done about it or is it out
of our hands?" Madia asked. "It'll be interesting to see what
happens with the issue because it is a big issue that affects all
students on this campus."
Where and how to
vote in MSA winter
U . U
Continue to support affirmative action
through more national days of action
Oppose 'DPS harassment at social
* Increase staffing at computing sites
hopde for large
By Gerard Cohen~rlgnaud
Daily Staff Reporter
With the posts of president and vice president up for grabs
and voting easier than ever due to online ballots, Michigan
Student Assembly candidates are hoping this semester's elec-
tions will set new student participation records.
"We are expecting a higher turnout," said MSA Elections
Director Rajeshri Gandhi, an Education senior. "The Web vot-
ing has really taken off. This year, I think there's some really
good candidates, and they're going to spread the word."
This past fall, a record 12 percent of students voted in MS
elections. Voter turnout last winter was even higher at 15 ps
cent, due largely to the fact that presidential elections tradition-
ally have attracted more participation.
"I think the voter turnout for this election, from seeing the
trend, will be consistent with the fall if not higher," said LSA-
Student Government Rep. Albert Garcia, an LSA first-year
student running for MSA vice president as an independent.
With "the online voting being so publicized, students are going
to find voting really convenient."
Business senior Nadia Estrada said she is not planning to
vote because she's not familiar with the issues.
"I really don't know much about the candidates," EstradW
said. "Since I don't spend much time on campus, I don't come
into contact with the platforms."
Students said they had various reasons for voting in the past.
Education senior Angela Bolden said voting gave her the right
Damian de Goa
Avinder Dhaliwal Independent
Elizabeth Renaud Independent
Vaneesh Soni Michigan
Matt Curin Students'
Douglas Friedman New
Students to vote on fee increase
By Kristin Wright
Daily Staff Rerrter
dents to agree to an increase of $4.50. And the last will ask if
voters would nay an extra $5 to the student fee.