Vote in the student government elections

Mark your calendar and cast your ballet April 4, 5, or 6.

Sarah Shook

Over the past year, Minnesota Student Association leaders have been working hard on the three key tenets of our student government: outreach, advocacy and leadership development. What happens in student government affects all students on the University of Minnesota campus in some way, such as MSAâÄôs efforts to keep tuition affordable, to stand up for student rights and to improve campus safety.

As a student, you have a stake in our student government. With the elections just two weeks away, now is the time to begin considering who you want to represent you next year.

Thanks to your support, Brandon Cofield and I were elected last year from a field of very qualified candidates to serve as your MSA president and vice president. Last yearâÄôs election set a five-year voter turnout record of 14.28 percent of student voters, and I sincerely hope that this upward trend will continue in this yearâÄôs election.

The issues facing next yearâÄôs student government leaders are significant. Due to the large cut predicted for state funding, the University will be faced with the prospect of slashing programs and raising tuition. With a presidential transition underway, the University will face its most substantial leadership change in a decade. And with the beginning of light-rail construction, the campus experience will change dramatically for students âÄî for better or for worse.

Effective student leadership at this time will be critical, and your vote matters. WeâÄôre working hard to ensure the next MSA leaders are well positioned to address these huge challenges on your behalf. However, we do need your help and involvement. To be sure that the students elected this April are able to represent your interest in the decisions ahead, you absolutely need to vote.

The upcoming elections are online and take less than a minute from start to finish. Polls are open April 4 through 6. Please join me in voting this year.

Sarah Shook is the undergraduate student body president at the University of Minnesota.