SA hopefuls focus on improving community

by Nathan Whalen

After seeing what they say is a community in need of improvements, two Minnesota Student Association candidates have several ideas to get the ball rolling to make campus a warmer place.
MSA presidential candidate Troy Tatting and vice presidential candidate Todd Olin are running on a four-point plan to improve community on campus.
Tatting said he realized during his campaign many students don’t even know what the student government is.
“We spend half our time explaining what MSA is,” Tatting said after the MSA debates Wednesday.
Students will vote March 21 and 22 at five different polling stations around campus and online.
Tatting and Olin plan to accomplish their goals by using MSA as a voice to express student concerns to the administration.
Their issues concentrate on improving the sense of community on campus, the grandest being drumming up support for a new on-campus football stadium.
Although head coach Glen Mason has talked about a need for a stadium, there haven’t been any developments.
However, Tatting and Olin want to ensure there will be student input on such a project.
“It boils down to talking to people,” said Olin, a mechanical engineering junior.
Tatting and Olin, both members of the marching band, said the means of accomplishing their goals would be to discover students’ needs and concerns and present them to the administration.
Other goals of their campaign are to gather student support for the introduction of core-group counseling, closed-circuit television and a Web site that tracks the housing conditions in neighborhoods surrounding the University.
Tatting, a political science junior, said MSA is the forum to start putting their ideas into action.
“It’s pretty much getting the ball rolling,” Tatting said.
They came up with these issues by talking with students and said they will continue to talk to students and refine their issues before presenting them to the administration.
The closed-circuit television would be an automated message board Tatting and Olin would like to see appear in the dorms, study areas and student unions. The televisions would announce events and hopefully be funded by advertising.
Olin said he has been working with housing and legal services to put together a researchable Web site to track living conditions of local apartments and provide a guide to tenant rights in an attempt to protect students.
If elected, Olin said he could have the basic format of the site up in about a week and then work in the information for the database during the early weeks of fall semester.
Tatting and Olin are campaigning by talking to students and holding bagel giveaways in an attempt to raise involvement in the MSA elections.

Nathan Whalen welcomes comments at [email protected].