The 2015 student government elections were held last week. Students voted online Wednesday and Thursday. Results were available Friday.
There were no surprises. 27 students ran for the 25 senate seats, the presidency and vice-presidency. 19 students were elected to serve again, and 8 students are newly elected. Current vice-president Bradley Pischea will serve as president next year. He said in spite of being pretty much guaranteed a win, he wishes more students had ran.
“I really do wish it was contested,” Pischea said. “If there’s more competition, there are more people out there talking to students and getting them to vote. There’s more communication about what we do.”
“We basically do everything,” said re-elected senator Samantha Holland. “Everything at least comes through us so we know about it. I think students don’t realize that we do so much.”
The student government does two things. It works with the university administration as an advocate for students shaping projects on campus. Senators cite improvements to WIFI as an example of that kind of work.
“It was awful,” said Holland. “Now it’s getting better in each building.”
The other kind of project is funded directly by the student government. They purchased the water bottle filling stations found throughout the campus, for example. Student government also raised money for equipment and improvements to the Wellness Center.
“When I first started with student government, I was shocked to see all the things that we do,” Pischea said. “ ‘They’re actually coming up with solutions.’ I was so impressed.”
“Improving parking is one big focus for the near future,” said Holland.
“We’re working with the administration on getting your classes up and available,” Holland said. “Getting the syllabuses up so students know what they’re getting into before the class even starts.”
Pischea said inclusion – “making sure everyone on campus feels comfortable,” and advocating for a more environmentally friendly campus are ongoing priorities. He also has a personal goal as president.
“I really want to do a better job of connecting to students,” Pischea said. “As fellow students, we’re here for you. We want to make sure your overall experience at UM-Dearborn is a good one.”
The eight students joining student government are: Rayann Yassine, Deanna Harajli, David Volovskiy, Yasmeen Kadouh, Rosemary Cruz, Teia McGahey, Dominic Azzopardi and Claire Dziewicki. They all ran as candidates for the One Michigan Coalition (OMC).
Holland was the only candidate on the ballot and senator in the government who is not a member of the OMC party. She said that’s not because of a political or programmatic difference.
“They just didn’t invite me to join,” she said.
Holland said when people realize there’s only one party, they get a little concerned.
“A lot of people have backlash for one party running, but they can run too,” Holland said. “If you don’t like what’s going on, change it.”
Students can learn more about student government projects by visiting their website or connecting with them on social media. General body meetings are open to students.
“Our office is always open,” Holland said. “Stop in and talk to us.”