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Erica Nelson

Name: Erica M. Nelson

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Year: Freshman

Major: Undeclared

Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?): My name is Erica Michelle Nelson, and I am a freshman here at the University of Michigan. Although currently undeclared, I intend to major in Political Science and Sociology and minor in Entrepreneurship. My goal is to use these degrees to pursue a law degree at Northwestern University or the University of Michigan with the hopes of becoming a United States Attorney and later a U.S Senator. My passion for law, justice, and representation is what inspired me to apply to be an Appointed Representative in LSA Student Government, and what is now inspiring me to run for Elected Representative.

I decided to run for Elected Representative because I believe that I can help further the mission of LSASG. Its mission is to further the goals of the student body and represent them when conversing with faculty and directors. Its job is to listen to and be the voice of the students. I am running because I understand this mission, and I am more than qualified to carry it on. My diligence and willingness to advocate for representation for the voices that are not heard are what drive me to seek the needs of others and get their concerns heard. As a freshman who began my time here over the summer, I had ample opportunity to listen to the concerns of my peers, and I want to act on those concerns. I would like to do more than vote on projects; I want to initiate them, be the person that starts them. Lastly, I am choosing to run to be one of the Elected Reps because I have a strong desire to have a major impact on this campus, and that is not something that I can do as a Constituent or as an Appointed Representative.

Overall, a member of the student body should vote for me because I am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure my peers are heard. Also, I am not afraid to put myself out there. I will email and meet with faculty, departments, and professors. One of my sayings is “It will always get done. No matter what”. A person should vote for me because no matter how big the task, I will make sure it gets done. Change will be accomplished, and I will be the one who makes sure of that.

Questions and Answers:

1. Should our student government publish voting/attendance records of its members?

I do think that LSASG should publish voting/attendance records of its members because it would add to the transparency of this organization. It can also help those who are interested in joining to see the dynamic of student government.

2. How would you bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government?

I would bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government by going to committee meetings and working with the chairs of those committees to propose legislation based upon the needs and desires of the students. I then intend to speak to my peers in student government urging them to vote on the newly proposed legislation.

3. What are some takeaways you have in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our student government’s response to it?

My main takeaway from the recent COVID-19 outbreak was how quickly our university responded to the issue, and how Student Government played an integral part in the decision to respond by helping to keep students informed on what was happening and the decisions being made. All parties acted accordingly and in the best interests of the students. Another takeaway is the decision to switch campaigning in person to online. This decision helps to slow the spread of the virus as it allows students to still participate in campaigning and practice social distancing.

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 believe that it is the student government’s responsibility to foster a healthy and welcoming environment for different views and opinions. Our job is to create safe spaces and host events prior to the election to help lessen the tension that could potentially be created as a result of the 2020 election. I also believe that our student government should  ask faculty to help monitor the debate, so that we can make sure that political tension does not result in violence among students.