Name: Alli Goodsell
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Major: Biology, Health & Society
Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?):
Hi everyone! My name is Alli Goodsell and my preferred pronouns are she, her, hers. I’m a second year studying Biology, Health and Society with a minor in Gender and Health. I’m an elected representative of LSA Student Government who ran in the Winter’19 term, and I’m up for re-election! In addition to serving on LSA SG, I’m part of The Pearl Project and Zeta Omega Eta.
This past semester I had the honor of being the chair of the Health Subcommittee and the chair of the Committee Advocating for Transfer Students (CATS), through this I’ve gained a lot of insight about issues facing students, our college, and our faculty. Although there are many pressing issues on our campus I’ve chosen three projects for this upcoming year that I will run on as I feel that my skills and the connections I’ve made could make a great impact, and they are as follows:
a. As many of you, if not all of you, know the University of Michigan puts a lot of stress on its students and for many of us we are unable to cope with the added pressure. This can either create mental health issues or deepen pre-existing mental health issues. Students already are battling through life in addition to school, so why not have a reliable resource? Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) was created to help students through tough times and our lives, but they are unable to do so due to a lack of backing from the university.
b. As an Elected Representative, I will continue my work with CAPS that I began this semester while chairing HEALTH. This includes talking with CAPS to see how LSA SG could best help them because funding may not be the overarching issue as many of us assume it is. Through the conversations I plan to write resolutions that will advocate for whatever it is that CAPS may need help with. I want all students to be able to speak to a mental health specialist whenever they may need it.
2. Housing Information for Transfer Students and Non-Traditional Students
a. Through being part of CATS leadership for three semesters I have heard many transfer and non-traditional students feel unsure of their housing options. This may include what dorm is the best fit, if being a part of a living community would better the chances of housing, if there are still apartments and houses available for living, and many other points of confusion.
b. As an Elected Representative, I will continue working with Jordan Drolet and Beyond the Diag to better transfer students’ and non-traditional students’ insights on housing in Ann Arbor. This may include housing newsletters sent out weekly, pamphlets available to be picked up at different locations around campus, or advertising for Beyond the Diag. I will do anything that could help spread the facts and insights about on-campus and off-campus housing.
3. Requirements of GSIs
a. Many students have shown concern about the level of Graduate Student Instructors’ teaching abilities, and after speaking with a few GSIs the past two semesters I’ve learned this issue emerges from the GSIs’ lack of comfortability in teaching.
b. As an Elected Representative, I will continue investigating how GSIs are helped when they struggle with teaching. In addition, I will begin looking into the training of GSIs before lectures and discussions begin. By helping GSIs to become more comfortable in teaching undergraduate LSA classes I would indirectly be helping LSA undergraduates to a more informed and instructive education done by GSIs. I will continue working with LSA staff to come up with legislation regarding sustainable solutions to better the experience of both the GSIs and undergraduates inside the classroom.
Questions and Answers:
1. Should our student government publish voting/attendance records of its members?
That’s a great question, and something that has been heavily discussed in student government this past year. In terms of voting, I believe that student government should publish statistics about the demographics of the student government voting members regarding who voted for, against and abstained for each piece of legislation voted on. I do not believe that the publication should have individual representatives’ names as I fear this may cause negative repercussions for individuals, and I want LSA SG to be a safe place.
In terms of attendance, I believe that attendance records should be published because the student body should know how dedicated the folks that they vote for are to making change occur. Something that I think could be interesting to do in the same realm of attendance is a document accessible to students to show them each of the student government representatives and the committees that they attend.
2. How would you bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government?
This is an amazing question as the only way LSA SG can represent our student body accurately is through diversity. One diverse voice I’ve represented in the government in the past and aim to continue to do so in the future is working students because this is often times a voice that is forgotten about in conversations so I want to continue doing my part to make sure this voice and many other diverse voices are heard.
Being a white female from a privileged background I cannot say that my being represents many of my peers, but I have taken initiative to actively seek out the voices of others different from my person. For example, I am not a transfer student, but I have become a representative for the transfer student community in student government through listening to what transfer students have to say and bringing their different ideas to the government.
3. What are some takeaways you have in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our student government’s response to it?
Some of my biggest takeaways from the COVID-19 outbreak are that hygiene is at an all time high, people are trusting science and health systems more openly, that it’s very important as a representative of the people to lessen panic by refuting rumors, that it can affect ALL demographics, and that this has brought many communities together despite social distancing. I do have more opinions and takeaways about the COVID-19 outbreak, but they are political and as LSA SG is bipartisan I won’t speak on them.
I believe that LSA SG’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak was necessary and done at a good time. I did help to put together the response so I may be bias in my answer, but it is what I believe to be true. The main takeaways from our student government’s response is that LSA SG cares about protecting minority groups, trying to lessen mass panic, advocating for our students’ health and wellbeing, and that LSA SG sees our school as a community that helps each other and they want the student body to see our school the same way.
4. What are your thoughts on student government’s role in the upcoming 2020 election, particularly in regards to how the Presidential Debate will occur on campus and navigating the feelings of political tension within the student body?
The Presidential Debate that will be occurring on campus has and is being planned by the university. The student governments’ role should include voicing any concerns of the students to faculty through resolutions and/or conversation. There is also a group of students with diverse voices led by faculty and administration that are focused purely on the safety and well-being of our campus surrounding the 2020 election and Presidential Debate – on this committee is one of the representatives of LSA SG so communicating with them and making sure that they are representing students voices should also be a role of the student government. Other than voicing students’ concerns and ideas the student government is not able to do much else as the Presidential Debate is planned by the university.
I believe that it is the student government’s job to work with the university to ensure the safety of ALL students as this presidential race involves high tension. This includes having student government representatives on the committee mentioned earlier. I also believe that if tension rises on campus student government should release a statement emphasizing togetherness and community.