One day more: MSA candidates pitch views – Richter, Jordan presidential bid emphasizes MSA efficiency

Robyn Repya

“Trimming the fat” is the campaign focus of two candidates running in the Minnesota Student Association presidential election this week.

Tyler Richter, a journalism sophomore running for president, along with his running mate, Jeremy Jordan, a construction management junior, said the MSA budget could be used more efficiently to better serve students.

“We feel that students are not getting the return on the investment they deserve,” Richter said.

MSA is scheduled to receive approximately $95,000 from the Student Services Fees Committee for next year, he said, and $50,000 should be spent on the Diversity Education Fund grant program.

Jordan and Richter said MSA and other student organizations use money from the DEF grant program to help fund events that promote diversity.

“It’s the only real immediate quantitative benefit for students,” Richter said.

Jordan said the pair also wants MSA to be more active and assume a more visible presence on campus.

But they said they don’t agree with several recent initiatives and resolutions MSA passed.

Richter said the plans to institute a weekend late-night bus running through campus from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. are a waste of money.

“I see it, frankly, as rolling drunk tanks. For students to be subsidizing that is not right,” he said.

Richter said the University has an escort service to walk students home if they are concerned about their safety, which he said makes the potential new bus route redundant.

The creation of a housing database, called “Landlord Library,” is another project MSA has proposed that the pair says is unnecessary.

The database, patterned after a similar Ohio system, would keep a landlord inspections record and allow renters to post notices about specific landlords for other students.

But Richter said these same resources are available for students at the state’s Chamber of Commerce Web site.

He said MSA should cut its budget to purely skeletal operations in order to make better use of the organization’s Student Services Fees.

“The way that we spend our money needs to be looked at more closely and regulated,” Jordan said.

After serving as the subcommittee chairman for the Student Services Fees Committee this year, Richter said he has a unique knowledge of MSA’s budget.

“I know MSA’s budget better than any other candidate,” he said, “I think we as a team could manage it better than anyone else.”

Richter and Jordan said because they are running a “grassroots” campaign they do not have a Web site but will be setting up informational booths around campus this week.