GUEST COLUMN: Vote Idema-Brant-Demirkol for an equitable, accessible university


Taylor Idema (middle), Natalie Brant (left) and Mary Demirkol (right) are one of three tickets running for SGA executive positions.

We, the Idema-Brant-Demirkol Student Government Association (SGA) ticket aim to work toward accessibility, inclusivity, and progress at Central Michigan University. 

Taylor Idema, the presidential candidate, is a junior who currently serves as SGA Executive Board Treasurer, SBAC Committee Co-Chair, CAM Senator, and former Governmental Affairs Chair. Natalie Brant, the vice-presidential candidate, is a sophomore who currently serves as SGA Executive Secretary and Parliamentarian. Mary Demirkol, the candidate for treasurer, is a senior who currently serves as a Senator for the College of the Arts and Media. 

Accessibility within SGA, and across CMU’s campus, is one of the main aspects of this campaign. Our ticket seeks to alleviate the communication gap between students and the current administration. Some of our campaign goals regarding accessibility include reducing the cost of parking, calling on the university for a full break-down of tuition dollars, creating and publishing a digestible version of the CMU budget, hosting town halls with the university president, creating a system designed to hold professors accountable for timely communication, and more. 

Additionally, we are committed to releasing weekly presidential communications, creating a Students with Disability Services liaison cabinet position, digitizing all SGA files, and hosting a town hall once a semester with the current SGA administration.

We also recognize that accessibility and inclusivity go hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other. With the cost of education on the rise across the nation, and a steep decrease in enrollment on our campus, one of our biggest and most ambitious goals is to work with the CMU administration and the state of Michigan toward decreasing the current tuition cost. We would also like to provide waivers for the mandatory Student Service Fee. 

Some of our other initiatives in this area include the implementation of a Women’s Resource Center, the creation of a lounge for students with disabilities, advocating for increased employment opportunities for international students, amplifying the voices of our diverse student body including minoritized students, Residence Life Inclusion Assistants, multicultural student groups, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Within SGA, we would like to see the implementation of an impartial legislation aid cabinet position to troubleshoot legislation before it is presented to the House and Senate.

When accessibility and inclusivity are promoted on our campus, progress occurs. Our ticket recognizes that achievable goals are necessary for the success of an organization. The third prong of our campaign aims to make CMU a leadership standard for other institutions to follow. These goals include increased collaboration with the State of Michigan and the City of Mount Pleasant Pleasant, the reinstatement of wellness days (while keeping spring break), the implementation of an SGA philanthropy project once a semester, increased collaboration with our diverse student groups, and more. 

We are running for SGA Executive Board because we love CMU and we want it to be the best place for students, staff, faculty, and community members. We want to make real change at this university, and we are here to advocate for you!

Student Government Association Executive Board Elections are held virtually from March 28 to April 1. Students can vote for a ticket via Engage Central.