Candidates purport to disband MSA

Nathan Whalen

After three years of experiencing what they say is ineffectual student leadership, Minnesota Student Association presidential and vice presidential candidates Jared Christiansen and Mike Franklin are running with one issue: Abolish MSA.
Christiansen and Franklin said they have seen few results from MSA during their years of involvement, which they say is unacceptable considering MSA is financed by student services fees.
This year, MSA received $112,200 from student fees of $2.35 per student, per semester.
“The organization is corrupt and should be disbanded,” said Franklin, a political science junior.
Last year, Christiansen ran for MSA president with a similar issue, but he said his campaign became bogged down when he had to debate the usefulness of the various aspects of MSA.
The demise of MSA consumes Christiansen and Franklin’s campaign. Christiansen said he isn’t even going to talk about any other issues the other candidates debate.
Christiansen, a lifelong pro-wrestling fan, became involved with MSA in 1996 when he was elected at-large representative. Even then he said he thought MSA was nothing more than a political club.
A senior in the Inter-college program, Christiansen became disillusioned with the organization because it thought it had real power, he said. He added that MSA’s views didn’t match those of the students he would talk to.
Franklin, also a lifelong wrestling fan, remains open for some forum for student voice. However, both candidates said they won’t consider alternatives to MSA until they take office next year.
Although not currently an elected member of MSA, Franklin has attended many of the meetings throughout the year. Franklin was last elected to MSA as a representative at-large in 1997.
If elected, the first thing Christiansen wants to do is return the money MSA receives from services fees and its reserve fund to the student body. Both candidates sit on the Student Services Fees Committee.
If the students choose to develop a forum in the future, they should do so without any money from student fees, Franklin said.
“We’re spending $120,000 and doing nothing for the students,” Franklin said.
The candidates said they hope this message will reach the 96 percent of the undergraduate students who didn’t vote in last year’s election.
Christiansen and Franklin have a campaign Web site: They have not yet been endorsed by any campus organizations, but they will start hanging posters around campus, and talk to students on the mall in the coming days.

Nathan Whalen welcomes comments at [email protected]