Name: Caroline Theuerkauf
Major: Political Science; International and Comparative Studies; German
Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?): As a sophomore transfer student from Midland, Michigan triple majoring in Political Science, International and Comparative Studies and German, I’m excited about the opportunity to be an elected representative for LSA student government. I’ve been involved in student government since becoming a student at the university, and have held the position of appointed representative and vice chair of the Committee Advocating for Transfer Students, and through these experiences I’ve seen the impact students can make through student government in improving student experience and I have become driven to be a part of this positive difference making.
I’m running because I believe in engaging in your civic duty and taking action in your community. I truly believe that you should take all opportunities you have to make a difference, and I believe that as an elected representative of student government I will be able to make a positive difference for the community. I plan to create and advocate for better resource information and accessibility for students, in regards to academic resources ranging from advising to tutoring. I also plan to work on finding a way to ease the process of transfer credits.
I’m passionate about and dedicate to improving student life at the University of Michigan and am looking forward to the opportunity to do so.
Questions and Answers:
1. Should our student government publish voting/attendance records of its members?
Our student government should publish voting and attendance records of its members. This allows for the establishment of accountability of members to constituents.
2. How would you bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government?
As a transfer student, I would bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government through the additional perspective I’ve gained in my time as a university student. As vice chair of the Committee Advocating for Transfer Students in student government, I’ve already begun doing my part in representing transfer student interests and working towards solutions to problems that are not often heard about or listened to. Moreover, in my time at my previous university, I was a part of multiple student councils, and therefore I’ve experienced different types of communication, collaboration, and problem-solving strategies, and I plan to take the diverse skillset and ideas on with me as I bring new diverse ideas to the table.
3. What are some takeaways you have in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our student government’s response to it?
The prompt initial response of our student government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak of moving all meetings online and highlighting that meetings were no longer mandatory is an example of clear and empathetic communication, which is exactly what we need in this time. Taking the initiative to continue working in an appropriate environment displays dedication and accountability, which are commendable traits in light of the divergence of priorities in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some takeaways I’ve learned from this outbreak are how important clear and concise communication is, and how salient it is to always act with understanding of the different positions students of the university are in.
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?
I believe student government’s role in the upcoming 2020 election, in regards to the Presential Debate occurring on campus is to be vigilantly aware of the needs of students during this time. Creating spaces and opportunities for students to participate in the event to the extent that they wish to (especially if there is a wish to find spaces to take breaks from the political tension that will be on campus) is going to be a key role of student government. A second key role will be to concentrate on university plans and policies and ensure that the student perspective is heard and listened to.