Name: Chayton Fivecoat
Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?):
My name is Chayton Fivecoat, I am a junior and I am running to be your representative on LSA Student Government for the third straight year. In my time in government, I have completed many tasks that put the students' interests first. These include helping pass the 4th semester pass/fail foreign language policy, elevate LSA SG transparency rules, and advocating for increased mental health resources on campus. Additionally, I have helped lead the Subcommittee on Technology, Advising, and Academic Resources to promote the amazing resources that we already have on campus. This government is going through a period of great change. Many seniors are graduating, students are transferring out to other colleges, and the member turn over rate remains high. This year, I plan working with other members of the government to create a stable environment and to bring more students into the room where it happens. At this point in my career, the projects that I have wanted to start are in full swing and are wrapping up, and the new ideas I have had, I am passing along to other members. I feel, as a senior representative, it is my job to preserve the legacy of LSA SG success, and to increase it. To increase the number of resolutions that we are passing, increase the number of meaningful projects and to complete the ones we are already working on. For me, that is advocating for policies in the academic and student life sectors, as this is where I have the most experience. As an RA, it is my job to create the best student life experience for my students, and as a voting member for LSA student government, I will help create the best experience for you. It is also my job to find new voices that are not present in the LSA SG office and bring them to the forefront. With a vote in the general assembly, I have the ability to advocate for those that are unable to be present. A person should vote for me if they want to see some stability in LSA SG for the next year. They should vote for me if they want their voices heard and members held accountable for their actions, on and off of the assembly. To me, a voting member must be held to a higher standard than a normal member of the university, constantly striving to make this University a safer place to live, study, and create lifelong memories. As an RA, this is already my job to my residents. As an incumbent, this is already my responsibility to all LSA students. As your future representative, this will be my job till I graduate. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not hesitate to reach out for questions, a problem that you have seen arise, or just a place to talk.
Questions and Answers:
1. Should our student government publish voting/attendance records of its members?
Yes. This is a policy I advocated for along with some other members of government earlier this year. Unfortunately, it was voted down. However, I still feel strongly that we as representatives are supposed to be held accountable by our constituents, and this is the best way I can see fit.
2. How would you bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government?
As an RA in East Quad, I constantly ask my freshman and upper class residents their opinions on things going on at the University. In East Quad, there are a variety of students, ranging from athletes, students from all schools and colleges, and many different backgrounds. These opinions are extremely valuable to me. They need to be present in all of our conversations, big or small. Throughout the year, I have invited new people to all LSA SG meetings to include voices from those that usually do not have one. Additionally, I am a member of the Campus Climate Committee for the Presidential Debate that meets with Dean Laura Blake Jones every other week with students from many different backgrounds. In this space, I can gather opinions from many different students and the groups that they represent, and bring them back to LSA SG.
3. What are some takeaways you have in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our student government’s response to it?
I’ve thought that our response is about as well as it could be. As always, hindsight is 20/20. People will always criticize or praise what we do as a government. The executive board statement was effective for calming student voices. I think that the COVID-19 outbreak is bringing out the best of students. It is uniting us under one common goal and is showing that through all the differences and conflicts that we may have, at the end of the day, we are all Wolverines. It is about helping everyone. It is about uniting under our different strengths to create an inclusive environment for all.
4. What are your thoughts on the 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 am happy that we are hosting the Presidential Debate, but I am worried for the negative effects that it could have. The Presidential Debate will bring out an outstanding coalition of students to increase civic engagement across campus, and this will be a key role that SG can play in the process. Additionally, advocating for the safety and security of campus across all schools and colleges, especially LSA students, will be at the forefront of our efforts. We must ask the university to maintain the level of resources allocated for things such as mental health resources, DPSS officers, and UHS in this time of great tension. LSA SG could have a large role, centered in student voices, in the University if we have strong leadership in place and create an environment for all students to feel that they have a voice.