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Jordan Schuler & Sai Pamidighantam

Name: Jordan Schuler

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Year: Third-Year

Major: Philosophy, Politics, & Economics and Organizational Studies

Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?):

I’ve been involved with LSA Student Government since my first semester on campus. I have served as an elected representative for a year and a half, vice chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for one year, and Academic Relations Officer on our executive board this past year, in which I chaired our Academic Affairs Committee and facilitated progress on projects related to academic policy.

I’m running for President of LSA Student Government because of my passion for this organization. During my three years in the government, I have worked on countless valuable projects, seen the difference we can make in students’ lives, and built a close community of friends that feels just like a family. I want to not only continue to do this valuable work, but also give back to an organization, student body, and college that has given so much to me over the past three years.

This means bringing compassionate, inclusive leadership to our government that is relationship-driven and inclusivity-focused. We want to build relationships both inside and outside our government. Internally, we want to make people feel welcome and heard, and empower them to make progress on their projects. Externally, we want to build new relationships with offices, academic resources, and student organizations, as well as do what we can to learn from others through accessible office hours and sustained recruitment.

We also strive to create a government that is inclusive: where everyone, regardless of their identities, can feel like they belong and can contribute. This involves sustained collaboration with multicultural organizations on campus, as well as a restructuring of our government to create a block entirely devoted to diversity affairs, with subcommittees or task forces focused on advocacy for international students, LGBTQ+ students, transfer students, and other communities on campus. However, this commitment to diversity is a promise, not just a platform point. They are not just buzzwords - instead, they run throughout the projects we have worked on over the past three years and that we will commit ourselves to work on for the year to come. These projects aim to make the Michigan experience more equitable for all students on campus. Here are a few of the projects that we plan to work on:

●       Orientation Reforms: By creating a need-based scholarship for some students to be able to attend an earlier orientation, as well as a skype orientation for international students, we can enable students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to attend an early orientation to have more options during class registration.

●       General Learning Center: While we have specialized tutoring centers on campus, we need a center that can help students with broader academic skills, such as organization, time management, test-taking, and dealing with test anxiety, among others. The center would be staffed with professionals to help students identify weaknesses in these areas and develop action plans to improve.

●       Endowment: The Endowment fund created this past year will be able to generate scholarship funding for future LSA SG members who need financial assistance to allow participation in the government. We will continue working with the new Fundraising Committee to maintain the Endowment fund, work with past LSA SG alumni to get donations, as well as find other ways to make participation in the government more accessible for lower SES students.

All in all, Sai and I believe that we’re the best team to be LSA Student Government President and Vice President because of our extensive experience in LSA Student Government. As we’ve mentioned, we’ve been a part of this organization since freshman year, and it’s where our passions lie - we’ve seen the differences we can make in students’ lives by pursuing policy changes like the extension of the pass/fail deadline or putting on events like our pop-up thrift shop. It’s this experience and passion that enables us to take on these positions. We have a platform that we believe will help to promote a more equitable LSA, and we think we’re the team best equipped to make it happen.

For more information, please check out our full platform here: - thanks so much for reading!



Questions and Answers:

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


Voting records should be published in accordance with the procedure used to count the votes. A voice vote, placard vote, or secret ballot vote would only be published in the minutes with a count (instead of with the vote of each individual member), as is typical of voting with these methods. However, if a roll call vote were to be requested (where each member is asked to state their vote individually), then each member’s vote would be published in the minutes.


As for attendance, general meeting attendance is already public because it is included in the minutes. However, we believe that office hour and committee attendance should continue to be handled internally. Our representatives are students first, meaning they balance course work, jobs, other extracurricular involvements, and personal lives in addition to their role in student government. While it would be possible to designate any absences as excused or unexcused, we would never want a representative to feel obligated to disclose personal details to explain any absences. Our secretary is consistently updating attendance records and staying in contact with those nearing attendance limits, and we have had multiple conversations in the recent past to clarify absence procedures, meaning we are staying on top of attendance requirements. If someone from outside the government would like to know more about attendance, we think that would be better addressed on an individual basis. We of course believe in being transparent and staying accountable to our constituents, but not at the expense of the well-being of the members of our government.


2. Regarding efforts in campus sustainability, do you feel that the establishment of the president commission on carbon neutrality (PCCN) has helped or hindered the ability of student organizations and student government to affect change in campus sustainability efforts?

In theory, it is nice to see that the university is devoting time and resources to addressing climate change. However, we need to see more transparency in the commission’s work and greater weight given to student voices for this commission to truly be effective. When student organizations and student governments are largely unaware of the commission’s work, there is little they can do to add to the conversation. And, when there were town halls for the commission to share their work and receive feedback, they were not well-publicized and capacity was severely limited. All of this is compounded by the fact that the commission has discussed more niche topics given the restriction on discussing many topics related to divestment, a priority of many student organizations on campus and one that our campaign wholeheartedly supports.

Furthermore, while there are some mechanisms in place to give students a voice, their voice is not given enough weight. There is not much to suggest the Student Advisory Panel has been used frequently, or that the student representatives on the commission have been given the ability to make significant recommendations. We would also like to see high-ranking members of the commission be in contact with representatives from student groups so that the members can share their recommendations with the commission on their behalf. Students on campus are passionate about addressing climate change, because this is not just a small issue, but instead an existential threat. No effort to address it can be truly effective unless those student voices are given the weight they deserve.

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

The first key takeaway from the COVID-19 outbreak is the need for more efficient, centralized communication between students and the university. Students were bombarded with emails, sometimes with conflicting messages (for example, whether or not students could stay in their rooms in university housing). This caused stress and confusion for many students on campus, so we would have liked to see less hectic, more consistent messaging to students. We understand this is an unprecedented situation and one the university is also working through addressing, but it is imperative that students also have a good understanding of the decision being made.

That goes hand-in-hand with the second key takeaway, which is the need for preparedness for alternate forms of instruction. Again, given that there was no way to anticipate a situation like this, we understand why the transition was difficult. However, there are always students on campus who may not be able to attend class in-person for one reason or another. Constant preparation for alternate forms of instruction helps to both accommodate these students, and be prepared in the event that there were to ever be an unexpected event such as the COVID-19 outbreak.

In terms of LSA Student Government’s response, we are incredibly pleased with our communication with students through graphics/information on how to stay healthy, as well as statements reminding us to be kind to one another. We are also thrilled to be a part of discussions to allocate a significant portion of our remaining budget to essential student resources such as the Maize & Blue Cupboard and Technology Services, which are dealing with increased demand during the outbreak. However, the one thing we feel we could have improved upon was being a more accessible resource/liaison between LSA students and administration through measures such as virtual office hours. This would have allowed students to pose questions and concerns that we could then relay to LSA administration, and we could help to publicize any essential information we get in return.

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?      

Sai and I have recognized the importance of student government’s role in the upcoming 2020 election for awhile now - it is not only a part of our platform, but also has been present in our work in LSA SG this past year. Since we found out the university was hosting the debate, we have been a part of conversations about what we could do to ease tensions on and encourage political engagement on campus, and we are even proposing a ballot question to understand how we can best serve students during election season.

First, we intend to work with offices on campus such as MESA and Trotter to plan educational events and dialogues, as well as create safe spaces where students can feel comfortable amidst what will likely be a politically contentious time. Student well-being is of the utmost importance, and will be a priority in any project we do related to the debate or election.

Secondly, we are in the process of proposing to the Dean’s Office a recommendation to professors to refrain from giving exams on or immediately following election day. Our ballot question data from last semester showed this would be an important change to allow students the time to vote, and given the university is hosting a debate and emphasizing how essential it is for students to be politically engaged, we think there is no better time to make such a change than now.

Name: Sai Pamidighantam

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Year: Third Year

Major: Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

Platform Speech (Who are you, why are you running, and why should a person vote for you?):

Hello everyone! My name is Sai Pamidighantam and I have been a part of LSA Student Government ever since my first year at UM. I first joined LSA SG as an associate representative but was able to be elected as an Elected Representative in the past two LSA SG elections. In my time in SG, I have spent all my time in the Diversity Affairs Committee (DAC), first as Vice-Chair, and then Chair for the past 1 ½ year.

In the past three years, LSA SG has become a place of significant growth and support for me. I have been able to work on social justice issues that are present on campus and have been able to advocate for underrepresented identities through tangible events and resolutions. I have been able to represent undergraduate LSA students at a higher administrative level and voice our concerns to the University when it comes to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan. Moreover, I have been able to find a family here, amongst my fellow LSA SG members who constantly motivate me in my endeavors in the Government as well as in my personal life.

With our combined, extended experience in the Government, and having observed what works and doesn’t work in the past, Jordan and I are striving to be a compassionate, inclusive leadership, which is relationship-driven and inclusivity-focused. This means that we are hoping to create a welcoming, inviting environment within LSA SG which embraces all people and their identities, experiences, and values. Any LSA student should be able to feel that they can approach LSA SG comfortably and safely to voice their concerns and opinions, to work on projects and causes close to their heart, and to find a close-connected group of friends, just like I was able to.

I have been able to have a warm and enriching experience within LSA SG and I hope to create this very experience for all current and future members as Vice President. We plan on creating this environment by restructuring our government to create specific subcommittees for issues relating to LGBTQ+ students, International students, First-generation students, students with disabilities, etc. to allow these students to meet and organize within spaces which are safe and supportive for them. We also want to approach and converse with multicultural student organizations on campus to let them know that we are more than a funding resource, but also a friend, a collaborator, and a bridge to higher administration within the University.

Our intent to create an inclusive and equitable LSA SG is not just a platform point, it is a promise. These are not just empty words we have thrown together for the time being, but a value and a belief we have consistently shown within SG and also in our personal lives. Jordan and I have never considered DEI as an afterthought; it is the foundation upon which all our projects and resolutions have stood upon. For example, be it when Jordan helped spearhead the initiative to make the last year of the Language Requirement Pass/Fail, or when I helped put together a transit brochure for students to use to make The Ride more accessible, we are constantly valuing equity and inclusivity to make students’ lives better. You can expect that we will continue to make this promise in the future as well, as President and Vice President. Here is a sneak-peak of some of the projects we already have in mind:

●     Funding to SAPAC, CAPS, SSD, Spectrum Center, Maize & Blue Cupboard, & Other Vital Campus Resources: We would like to allocate funding to student-support organizations on campus, work with the University to allocate more funds to and raise awareness for these vital organizations, and collaborate with LSA Academic departments to standardize listing these resources on all LSA class syllabi.

●     Campus Climate during Presidential Debate and Election: We hope to work with Trotter, MESA, Dean of Students, faculty, and other offices to help create safe spaces and events encouraging open dialogue on campus so students can feel physically safe, united with other students, and valued as members of the Michigan community.

●     M-Dining: We will continue to support our Student Life Committee’s current efforts in improving relations with the M-Dining office and actively collecting student feedback to offer a wider range of meal and meal plan options for students, and work with Maize & Blue Cupboard and M-Dining to increase food being supplied to the M & B Cupboard.

●     Climate Change/Fossil Fuels: We will work with our own Taking Responsibility for the Earth and Environment Subcommittee (TREES) as well as campus student organizations to continue to fight for University-wide carbon neutrality and push for other sustainability policies, such as divestment from fossil fuels.

Jordan and I truly believe that we would be best-fit for the positions of President and Vice President given our long, cultivated experience within LSA Student Government. We have been here since freshman year and we can speak to a great length about how we have shaped this Government and this campus, and how they have shaped us in return. As I said before, we will continue to value our relationships with our fellow LSA SG members and our constituents as well as make the SG environment inclusive and inviting to all through collaboration and acceptance. We hope that you share the same values and beliefs as us too!

If you would like to learn more about our Platform, you can read it here:


Thank you so much!

Questions and Answers:

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


My ultimate priority is to make LSA Student Government as accessible and inclusive for its members and constituents as possible. Publishing attendance and voting records of its members in certain cases would hinder this sentiment. Currently, General Meeting attendance is made public through our weekly Meeting Minutes, but those who are absent are not included. When we call to take a vote on a resolution, we simply tally up the numbers of members who vote Yes/No/Abstain, unless a roll call vote is accepted by the entire government. I agree with these standard procedures.

However, I do not agree with publishing complete attendance records which would also show those who have Excused or Unexcused absences. This is due to the fact that this would not allow room for members to excuse themselves from Government activities to take care of themselves and their health, be it mentally, physically, academically, etc. Our members have to balance being a student, having a job, participating in other student organizations, taking care of themselves and those around them, and so many more aspects of their lives while also being in LSA SG. They should not have to worry about having to explain why they have an Excused or Unexcused absence if these records are made public. As always, our Secretary’s duty is to keep track of members’ attendance requirements and to let them know when they are reaching a limit. As long as the Secretary is made aware of why a member will not be present at a General Meeting, Committee Meeting, or any other Government meeting or event, this should be enough. While we also believe that we must stay honest and accountable towards our constituents, it is also important that we remain understanding and supportive of our members.

2. What experience do you have advocating for social justice issues?

I can safely say that I have spent most of my time at the University of Michigan, be it inside the classroom or outside the classroom, becoming an advocate and an activist for various different issues and causes across the board. I hold many different identities within me- some are visible while others are invisible, and some hold privilege and some are underrepresented on this campus. To this end, I have had to become an activist to fight for issues that are directly and negatively impacting me, while at other times I have used my privilege to become an advocate and an ally to help, support, and uplift those being affected around me.

For one, I have spent the last three years in Government being involved and leading the Diversity Affairs Committee, where I have helped plan events, projects, and resolutions to highlight problems on our own campus, such as food insecurity, lack of sustainable and affordable clothing for low-income students, increasing awareness of issues experienced by LGBTQ+ students, as well as increasing accessibility to resources, amongst many others. I have helped make our government much more inclusive by working on organizing Allyhood training for all Government members as well as creating pronoun nametags and placards for everyone who feels comfortable using them.

Outside LSA SG, I am a SAPAC volunteer and facilitator, and thus, I am constantly advocating for and working on preventing sexual assault and intimate partner violence on campus through facilitating workshops and helping organize events with the rest of my SAPAC members. I am also a Relationship Remix facilitator, whereby I facilitate workshops to educate first-year and transfer students about healthy relationships, consent, sex education, and the importance of fostering a safe, inclusive campus community for all. Moreover, I helped start Dil Se, a mental health organization that hopes to destigmatize mental health conversations within the South Asian community through dialogue, events, panels, volunteering, etc. And finally, within my own free time, I am constantly fighting for and protesting violations of human rights, be it Women’s Rights, LGBTQ+ rights, Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Disability Rights.

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

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a stressful and confusing time for all of us. This is obviously an unprecedented, unpredictable time for everyone included so it is very important that we stand in solidarity with each other and support our loved ones around us. Nonetheless, I do have some takeaways to keep in mind so that moving into the future, our Michigan community can be better prepared for other emergency situations that may appear.

For one, it has become clear that the University needs to employ a much more clear and concise method of communicating with the students in situations like this. In the past week, we have been bombarded by countless emails from various departments and organizations, each informing us about a different thing about the University closure. It was especially confusing for students living in the dorms as well as International students, who were trying to decide whether they needed to stay on campus or go home, but were being given different information from different sources. Thus, a plan of dispersing information in a clear and concise method to students is highly vital.

Secondly, it is crucial that professors also create a remote education lesson plan in addition to their usual syllabus and go over this with their students at the start of the course so that students are aware of what is needed from them if we were to go into an emergency situation. In this way, both professors and students would be to have a conversation about Wifi, printer, and other accessibility issues if needed.

In terms of LSA SG’s response to the outbreak, we were able to release a statement encouraging a united front within the student body to combat the racism, xenophobia, and panic that are byproducts of the pandemic. We are currently working on distributing our emergency funds to organizations and departments on campus that are working to keep students safe and healthy at this time, such as Maize & Blue Cupboard. I wish we had primarily employed virtual office hours that any constituent could log into so that LSA SG representatives could attempt to answer some questions or pass on those questions to our advisors in the administration who could answer them better.

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 LSA SG definitely has a crucial role in the upcoming 2020 election as we have many resources and connections that we can tap into to help maintain a welcoming and united environment for everyone on campus. This is why this is a priority of Jordan and mine and is a platform point of ours. In fact, as the Diversity Affairs Committee chair, I have been in conversation with our current President and Vice President discussing this very role since last Fall. Currently, we are hoping to partner with MESA and Trotter to set up “safe spaces” around campus as well as events for educational dialogue that all students can participate in. We have also been working to draft a proposal to the Dean’s Office which would recommend professors to refrain from giving exams to students on Election day. In DAC, we have written a ballot question about this role which will be posed to all LSA students who will vote in the upcoming LSA SG elections so students can let us know if they believe these initiatives would be helpful to them or not. Our hope is that these initiatives will relieve some of the political tensions that will be present on campus because of the Debate and Elections and to instead create an inviting, accepting Michigan Community.