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- Senior Spotlight: Chayton Fivecoat
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- A Year in Review with President Selena Bazzi and Vice President Josiah Walker
- Committee Spotlight: The Academic Affairs Committee
- LSA Student Government in Action: The Private Therapy Reimbursement Program
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The LSA Student Government, like any major student organization, is led by a President and Vice President. Elected in April of 2020, President Selena Bazzi and Vice President Josiah Walker represent one of the few instances where the winning executive ticket was comprised of two people of color. As their election occurred just as the University was forced to shift to an entirely remote format, Selena and Josiah were confronted with both the pressures of governing the largest of U-M schools as well as reorienting the process to take place over Zoom. We were eager to have the opportunity to interview them, virtually of course, and reflect on their administration over the past year.
Why did you decide that you wanted to run a presidential ticket for LSA SG?
Bazzi: I served as an LSA Representative in Central Student Government my first three years on campus. I was always one of the only Muslim and Arab voices in the room and felt that there needed to be a major shift in the culture of student representation. The president platform was the perfect opportunity to introduce a new direction of student body advocacy, especially in the conversations being held with administration.
Walker: I decided to run for student body VP of the largest of the university’s schools and colleges because I knew it would give me the opportunity to bridge student government and organizing spaces on campus as well as to shed light and act on a plethora of underrepresented student experiences.
Thinking back to the beginning of the pandemic, what were some of the biggest challenges in shifting to an online format?
Together: The biggest challenge in shifting to an online format was restructuring the government’s mode of operation and communication. We worked diligently to address these changes throughout the year, launching task forces that worked closely with the university to center student voices in policy refinement.
Were there any particularly memorable moments in LSA SG over the past year?
Together: Despite operating virtually in the middle of a pandemic, LSA SG broke the all-time record when it passed the highest number of resolutions this year.
What has been your favorite resolution or LSA SG initiative from the past year? How do you believe you have had an impact on campus?
Together: We helped advocate for the P/NRC (Pass/No Record Covid) grading system. The switch to online learning has had a tremendous impact on students, many of who are dealing with significant academic and personal challenges. This new grading system provides students the ease of converting grades in a way that would prevent an adverse impact on their GPA.
Do you have any advice for new members of LSA SG or people thinking about joining?
Together: We advise that prospective members of LSA SG deeply explore and connect with advocating for their own causes and identities. You may not always see the same level of commitment from the government; however, remember that your efforts and voice mean so much to members of the student body whose voices would otherwise go unheard.
Currently Selena and Josiah are spearheading a food giveaway project through the LSA Student Government Special Projects Fund. Providing anything from cupcakes and donuts, to Lebanese fare from local restaurant Jerusalem Garden. They reflect that these giveaways do a lot to improve student morale.
If you are interested in connecting with Selena Bazzi or Josiah Walker please contact email@example.com.