Name: Lacey Kirchen
Major: Biomolecular Science
Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?):
Attending the University of Michigan was my goal for several years while I slowly worked towards an associate degree at Lansing Community College. It took me 3 years to earn that degree because I am also a mother and a returning adult student who worked 40+ hours per week while earning top marks. I am dedicated and have years of experience in the workforce and higher education. As a non-traditional student I have a perspective that is not often noticed on campus—especially as an undergraduate. I also understand the struggles and unique experience of being a transfer student from a community college and how that usually intersects with those of us who also need to work while taking classes—not just to have spending money, but in order to pay for rent or a cell phone. I want to be a representative for those of us who usually do not have the time to participate in campus programs like student government because we have other responsibilities which ultimately silences our voice in these arenas.
Questions and Answers:
1. Should our student government publish voting/attendance records of its members?
As a voted representative, it should be apparent to the student body as to whether or not their voted representatives are actually participating in the student government, and as such, attendance records should be available.
2. How would you bring new diverse ideas and representation of the student body into student government?
As a non-traditional student, I bring a unique perspective. I started college at 26 years old after I already started a family. I have an uncommon intersection of indentities that represent many of the underrepresented communities on campus from the non-traditional (returning adult) students, transfers, parents, LGBTQ+, women in STEM, and those of us who have to work to afford school.
3. What are some takeaways you have in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, and our student government’s response to it?
The COVID-19 outbreak has had some very large effects on our entire campus population. My life looks completely different now than it did just 10 short days ago. I think it is important he steps that student government has taken with the continuation of funding for events that had to be cancelled but have non-refundable expenses. Having to pay for those expenses could cause some student organizations to not be able to continue in the future.
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 think that not only having the Presidential Debate but the fact that we have conflicting opinions on campus is important. Once all of us graduate and enter the workforce, we are going to continue to come in contact with people who have different opinions than we do. We all have to learn to communicate in a way that could actually inform and change minds, and also to be okay with knowing that you will not be able to change everyone’s mind. There will always be someone who does not agree with you, but we need to maintain a civil discourse because anything else will never lead to progress.