Dyer concludes his MSA presidency

Dyer leaves his post having launched programs for student parking and buses.

He considered transferring after his sophomore year because he felt the University was too cold and impersonal.

But then University undergraduate students voted him vice president of the Minnesota Student Association, so he decided to stick around.

Looking back, Eric Dyer said he’s glad he did. After all, he went on to become MSA president last year.

His term concluded June 30, and Dyer said he is proud of what he accomplished.

“I think it went a lot better than I expected,” Dyer said. “I never could have predicted how influential a student government on campus could become.”

Dyer campaigned on a platform of adding late-night buses on campus, capping University parking rates and building an on-campus football stadium.

Last summer, the University announced a parking rates

cap, and in October MSA kicked off a late-night bus pilot program.

“I got two out of three, and from what I’ve seen of politics, that’s a pretty good record,” Dyer said.

Pushing for a stadium

Though Dyer did not realize his dream of returning Gophers football to campus, it remained a top priority throughout his term.

Dyer’s desk was often piled high with paperwork, newspapers and homework, but he taped all his stadium information – newspaper clippings, meeting schedules and letters from administrators – to his office walls to prevent losing it amid the clutter.

This spring, when Gophers stadium bills surfaced in the Legislature, Dyer testified before both houses. Neither bill reached a vote before the Legislature adjourned.

University Athletics Director Joel Maturi said Dyer played a key role in advancing the stadium cause.

“I don’t know if we’d be where we are without Eric Dyer Ö When this thing happens, we’re going to be indebted to him, because he will have played a role in making this a reality,” Maturi said.

Not everyone supported Dyer’s stadium campaign. MSA Forum Speaker Marty Andrade said Dyer and other stadium supporters in MSA did not necessarily represent the student body.

“I never felt they had a strong sense of what students wanted,” he said. “They did know what people in MSA wanted, and it was obvious they wanted the stadium no matter what the cost.”

Dyer’s legacy

New MSA President Tom Zearley said Dyer’s greatest

accomplishment was organizing the late-night bus pilot program.

“Eric was key in getting the help of parking and transportation and some other entities to at least listen to us, when previously they had not listened to us,” Zearley said.

But Andrade said Dyer takes more credit than he deserves for accomplishments, such as the ability to charge bookstore purchases to student accounts and eliminating the General Proficiency Test.

“I’m not sure he did all the things he said he did Ö If you take a package and say ‘this is what Eric Dyer accomplished,’ I’m not sure you’d see a lot in that package,” Andrade said.

Though they disagreed on many issues, Andrade said Dyer worked hard during his term.

“I think in the end, he was a better MSA president than most,” Andrade said. “Now does that speak of MSA or does that speak of Eric Dyer, I don’t know.”

Moving forward

Dyer’s political career is over, he said. He plans to pursue a career in investments after he completes his finance and economics degree in December.

Dyer said his participation in MSA provided him with valuable career training.

“I learned a lot about budgets and running a business,” he said. “No classes at the University could have given me this experience.”

As for MSA, Zearley said his priorities for this year include a permanent late-night bus program and improved student housing.

Dyer said he leaves MSA in good hands with Zearley taking over.

“I was really glad Tom got it,” Dyer said. “He’ll do a great job. He’s very informed and he listens to people.”