The Associated Students of Madison is currently holding its spring student council election. A group of 12 students has decided to campaign together under what they are calling the Unity ticket.
ASM Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair and Unity campaign manager Adrian Lampron said Unity is an independent campaign team that was formed in January after a group of students noticed common issues on campus that they felt could be solved by running for student council.
ASM Press Office Director and ASM Letters and Science representative candidate, Matthew Mitnick said he sees running as a team as a strength.
“We’re not just running as individuals, we’re running as a group of friends who are there to support each other,” Mitnick said. “We all come from a variety of backgrounds and identities, and we really want to bring positivity back into politics.”
Brandon Springer, who is also running for a Letters and Science seat, said one of Unity’s primary goals is to improve access to mental health providers through University Health Services.
Springer emphasized that Unity hopes to cut down long wait times at UHS. Mitnick said Unity will also focus on hiring more counselors and expanding the UHS locations, as the one main office is far for many students.
“We shouldn’t make it so students have to come to UHS, more so UHS is available to come to them,” Mitnick said.
Sophomore and Unity member Brian Li said Unity also hopes to make UHS open on the weekends. Li also said that as an international student from China himself, he wants to make UHS a more accessible place for international students.
“The language barrier might prevent them from getting professional mental health resources,” Li said.
Springer said some other issues Unity wants to combat are gender-inclusive housing on campus and affordable housing on and off-campus.
Springer said many organizations that go to ASM for grant money are sometimes turned down without knowing why.
Unity wants to create a process in which the grant allocation committee works with student organizations to help them take the correct steps in order to receive the grant. Even if the student organization does not receive the grant, Unity wants the committee to help them identify mistakes in their applications for future grants, Springer said.
Springer said Unity has done a lot of campaigning through social media this year to increase voter turnout and awareness.
The ASM elections started Monday morning and will end at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Students can vote on the ASM website.