Dear TBG readers,

In November 2008, The Big Green published an article about how the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) spends the tax money that ASMSU collects. Many students brought forth issues related to how ASMSU spends its money, especially wishing that ASMSU would use the money for something that would be more worthwhile to the student population.

Well, as the old saying goes, if you want something done right, do it yourself. And this spring is the perfect time to do that.
Every spring, ASMSU holds its annual elections for representatives from each college for both of its government bodies, Student Assembly and Academic Assembly. Academic Assembly (AA) deals with academic issues ranging from textbooks to tuition, while Student Assembly (SA) works with non-academic issues that affect student life both on-campus and in the city of East Lansing.

Both of these assemblies are looking for students to run for representative positions. Representatives to each of the governing bodies attend assembly meetings and work with the assemblies to draft and implement legislation that directly affects student life. Running for one of these positions enables students to have a direct impact on the direction that ASMSU takes next year.

This is where you come in. If you want to change what ASMSU does and influence how student tax dollars are used, this is your opportunity. Run for a representative position from your college for either SA or AA—whichever deals with issues in which you’re more interested—or, better yet, run for both! Becoming a representative to these assemblies gives you the chance to decide what the priorities of ASMSU will be next year, and will also give you the opportunity to work directly with the university through ASMSU to change or affect the university’s policies. However you look at it, this is a great opportunity for anyone who’s tired of the same-old, same-old, and wants to bring change to the student government.

If you would like to run for a representative position, all you need to do is pick up an election packet from the ASMSU business office—307 Student Services—fill it out, get 30 signatures from other students in your college, and turn it in by Friday, February 27. Once the signatures are all verified, you’re good to go, and will appear on the ballot for elections. That’s all you have to do. The ASMSU business office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30-noon and then from 1-4:30, and any specific questions that you may have can be answered there.

Even if you’re not interested in running for a representative position, you can still bring change to ASMSU by voting in the elections. Voting starts March 30 and runs through April 3. You can vote online on your personal computer, or ASMSU will be having remote polling locations on campus so that you can vote on your way to or from class. Voting for the right candidates can bring as much change as running for a position, and therefore it’s vital to do so. Closer to elections, bios of candidates will be posted on ASMSU’s Web site. Read over the bios, contact the candidates running in your college, and make sure that they know your opinions so that they can best represent you. Encourage your friends to run if they’re interested, and most importantly, keep informed about what’s going on in ASMSU so that you know where your tax money is going.

ASMSU is your student government—that’s right, yours. You are what makes ASMSU run and function, and if you think that there’s a problem with the way it’s running and functioning now, it’s time to step up and change it. The upcoming elections are one of the best ways to ensure that change is indeed coming. 2009 is set to be a year of change, and you can get involved to bring that change right here to campus.

I sincerely hope that you take Mahatma Gandhi’s advice and will “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Jaclyn Murphy
Assistant Director of Communications

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