Eastern Michigan University Student Government elections are quickly approaching and the current president of SG, Desmond Miller, has yet to be opposed.
A write-in vote could change that, but as of now, there is no one campaigning against Miller or his running mate for vice president, Steven Cole.
Cole, a sophomore at EMU majoring in political science, is involved with the Honors College. He is also president of the Mock Trial Club and Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science National Honor Society, and he plans to attend law school after graduation.
Cole has worked as Judicial Sergeant of EMU’s Student Government, which is a part of the internal affairs area of SG.
“Primarily, my work has been to make the internal affairs of SG more objective and transparent for the senators,” Cole said in an email interview. “Also, serving as the parliamentarian has been a great way to learn on the job in a way, since a knowledge of parliamentary procedure is necessary to chair the senate meetings as the VP does.”
Cole said he has chosen to run with Miller for a few reasons, the foremost being his passion for Student Government at EMU.
“Being VP is a great way to be more engaged with Student Government and to increase my ability to positively influence campus for the student body,” he said. “On a personal level, I think Desmond and I understand each other exceptionally well. In my time on the Executive Board over the last year, I’ve come to know him as someone who truly loves his job and works hard at it. We are typically always on the same page with our thinking, which makes working together efficient, as well as fun.”
Cole added it would be a privilege to run alongside Miller as a friend and respected colleague.
He said he has mixed emotions about Miller being unopposed at this point in time.
“Competition is always great, but I’m certainly appreciating the decreased level of stress that a typical election brings so Desmond and I can focus on how we can quickly and effectively implement our initiatives,” Cole said.
He said he and Miller have been active campaigners within the student organizations, so far, but will eventually be passing out fliers and talking to the student body.
“Election season is a great time to increase awareness amongst the student body of what we do,” Cole said.
Cole also highlighted many goals for the university he would like to accomplish with Miller if elected VP.
“The main initiatives we have been vocalizing are the 24-hour library, having the Commons be open on the weekends and an increased awareness for the safety of our students,” he said. “While most students hear about these initiatives the most, the jobs of the VP and president extend much farther than that. One of my personal goals for the year is to maintain vocal engagement with student organizations beyond the campaign season.”
Nino Monea, current VP of Student Government, said the general advice he would give to anyone looking to be a part of the Student Government at EMU is to let his or her voice be heard.
“You can have strong ideals,” Monea said. “And you should fight for those ideals, stand up for those ideals, but don’t be afraid, sometimes to be more nuanced in your approach. There’s nothing shameful or wrong with working to kind of adapt solutions or policies.”
He added this works especially well when a person is trying to be influential with his or her cause.
EMU student majoring in biochemistry, Amber Conde, said one great thing Student Government has done for her is trying to adopt the smoke-free campus grounds. She also mentioned that a candidate with a “positive attitude” would be most likely to earn her vote.
She also said that the candidate would have to be a leader and want to work for the entire student body, not just one or two causes and organizations.
EMU student majoring in nutrition and health, Kai Jenkins said that the SG’s focus on the parking on campus has been a highlight, but that he’s not really interested in politics.
If he did vote, though, Jenkins said the person would have to be, “trustworthy, positive and upbeat.”
A public forum will be held on March 18 from 7-9 p.m. in the Student Center Auditorium for students to meet the Student Government candidates. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask
questions regarding student-related issues.
For more information about Student Government, go to emich.edu/studentgov, or call 734-487-1470.