With Eastern Michigan University’s Student Government elections fast approaching, the candidates have been eager to share their platform initiatives.
The four candidates running for student body president and vice president are:
• Current Student Body Vice President Desmond Miller, who is in the running for president, and his running mate vice presidential candidate, Antonino (Nino) Monea, who is currently the Student Government director of political action.
• Joshua (Josh) Lowe, a secondary education social studies major who is running for president, and his running mate for vice president, Brianna (Bri) Siler, an occupational therapy major.
On a circulated campaign flier, the Miller-Monea team discussed additional ideas they would like to see presented to the student body at EMU. Some of the initiatives included amplifying academic affairs at EMU. The goal is to eventually allow students to obtain long-term advising and register for classes one year in advance.
Miller and Monea said they will advocate for easier access to portals on the campus website, by promoting a tab called “My Schedule,” which would allow students to resourcefully gather important information they need to access.
The two are also looking toward building a tighter relationship between EMU and the surrounding communities. This would include working with the city to plan events for students and residents.
Miller and Monea agreed they will work toward simplifying voter registration and guarantee that all
students will be able to participate in elections.
Miller and Monea believe becoming involved in the student organizations on campus is a good way to enrich a student’s time at EMU. They want to develop a student participant survey that centers on student interests to match them with different clubs and organizations—almost like a personality profile.
An endeavor that has been a student government initiative for some time has been student bus passes. Miller and Monea will continue to work toward free student bus passes, built directly into a student’s Eagle One card. The two will also advocate for alleviating the parking challenges students face.
Miller said he is excited about the possibility of advocating for students for another year.
“Nino and I are very interested in the positions because of the potential impact you can make on the lives of students,” Miller said. “If elected, we hope to move students forward since we are elected by students and work for students. They come first in our minds.”
Monea said his campaign and the other team want to help students, but the two campaigns have different visions on how to do it.
“Our platforms are different,” he said. “We each have different leadership styles. In this kind of election, it’s who can really make their message to the students more effectively rather than tear down the other candidate.”
Monea said it’s really important for students to vote, even if they are not supporting his team.
“Look at us, look at our opponents, read from the platforms,” Monea said. “I urge them to look into this. We’re both trying to move to help students, but it really matters who you elect. And it’s really important that we have a strong turnout on campus elections because that means that students are getting involved.”
The Lowe-Siler ticket will promote initializing relationships at EMU and also develop a focused direction.
“We live the creed and we are here to creed,” Lowe said in an email. “We look forward to these next two weeks of (no sleep) and hearing from as many students as we can. All voices should be heard, and we will do our very best to reach everyone.”
On a campaign flier, Lowe and Siler said they understand EMU is a campus of diversity, and the bond between different cultures and student organizations must be strengthened.
They suggest collaboration between Student Government leaders and student organization leaders. To accomplish this they suggest creating forums between the leaders of both groups to increase knowledge about events and issues surrounding the student body.
To improve EMU’s direction, Lowe and Siler want parking costs decreased, and they believe residents should be able to pay by semester like their commuter classmates.
If elected, Lowe and Siler also plan to try and push for EMU’s IT department and campus advisers to develop common advising drives for students, or even look into the possibility of creating this as a tab on my.emich.edu. This is intended to help keep records of all sessions conducted by advising, thus creating documented evidence the student can hold onto.
Lowe and Siler are looking to promote engagement of offices on campus, which entails providing the students with precise awareness of issues that concern them, like finances and academics.
The team would approach the continuation of living up to EMU’s motto of “Education First.” The flier said Lowe and Siler will advocate for a Universal Design pedagogy to give students an equal opportunity to learn. Some examples that would help in this matter include visual aids, cooperative learning and using microphones, plus captioning.
The candidate debate will be held Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. in EMU’s Student Center at the Student Center stage on the first floor in front of Wendy’s.
The polls will be open Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, March 28 at my.emich.edu. On Election Day, students can log in to their emich account and the ballot will be presented to them automatically.
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