Student Government Association presidential candidate Marie Reimers and vice presidential candidate Patrick O’Connor say their ticket’s experience and platform goals best represent the student body.
In a meeting Sunday with Central Michigan Life, Reimers, a Saginaw junior, said improving communication between SGA and the student body is an important objective of their ticket. They plan to increase the roles of membership director and press secretary, and she said they will begin to release a weekly SGA newsletter.
Just as crucial to the ticket is the establishment of a women’s center.
“Sixteen-thousand students on this campus are women,” Reimers said. “We currently don’t have a (designated) safe space for women on this campus. I think that’s something that’s really important.”
The ticket said SGA needs to start captivating interest in SGA leadership positions throughout the student body. Reimers and O’Connor said they will be performing a campus-wide search to find student leaders from outside of the SGA to fill vacant Senate seats.
“We want to make sure that as many students as possible can apply,” Reimers said. “We know that there are leaders on this campus who are untapped because we haven’t been able to get to them.”
Along with establishing a bike-sharing program, Reimers said her administration will focus on encouraging the university to divest in businesses with policies detrimental to the environment. She said the university currently has dealings with Exxon and Chevron, whose practices she said are detrimental to the environment.
“We will be letting the university know that these are our concerns,” Reimers said. “We know that this is a huge issue for the university, and it won’t be happening overnight, and we don’t expect it to happen overnight.”
Reimers and O’Connor said after consulting students, they have also identified campus dining as an area that needs improvement. They said they will pursue better food labeling for vegetarian and vegan options and will explore options to lower waste and extend hours of operation.
O’Connor, a Croswell senior, said some of these are easy fixes.
“Especially the labeling issue. If someone has an allergy and isn’t sure if they’re able to eat something, it’s a huge problem that could be fixed by a sticker,” O’Connor said.
O’Connor said while tuition is the most important student concern, it is not something the SGA can directly address. He said his ticket will address the issue by pursuing increased scholarship and endowment funds.
“While we can’t lower actual tuition, we can work for student scholarships and sit on those committees and bring in more money for (them).” O’Connor said. “That’s something every student can support.”
O’Connor said his main focus as vice president will be to address the disorganization that is still plaguing the organization.
“While I don’t agree that I know the solution to the SGA’s problems, I know that I can fix them,” O’Connor said. “SGA reform needs to happen. We need to function better so these projects and other student projects can be pushed through.”
Reimers said the accusation that her platform goals are only pet projects done for personal interests is not an accurate representation of her platform.
“We have these projects, but we also want to hear what students want to say,” Reimers said. “That’s something that we’re really going to push in our administration and our campaign.”
Voting begins April 1 and goes through April 5.