Aspirants plot MSA remodeling

Rebecca Czaplewski

Editor’s Note: On April 28 and 29, the student body will elect the president and vice president of the Minnesota Student Association. This is the third in a series of five articles profiling the five candidates and their running mates.

Ben Bowman and Matt Clark say all they have to do is glance at the construction-laden campus to see the University is poised for a change.
And as candidates for the executive roles in the Minnesota Student Association, the pair has come up with a few construction projects of their own.
“The University is not stagnant anymore — it’s time to get our changes in now when we’re used to change,” said Bowman, a sophomore in the Carlson School of Management and presidential candidate.
Bowman and his running mate are seizing this campuswide trend and offering an agenda of changes.
The pair has five primary projects in mind, including establishing a board of governors for University Bookstores, something they feel is one of their most important issues for students.
The bookstore board would run much like the current board for Coffman Union; students could give input and be involved, possibly directing some of the bookstores’ profit back into student programming.
“This would help so there’s no stigma about the bookstores, that they’re not out to get students for profits,” Bowman said.
Along with the development of a 10th Avenue Circulator bus route and the creation of a semester evaluation committee, the candidates also want to see increased acceptance of the U Card both on and off the campus.
“We’re here at one of the biggest universities, and we can’t even buy a bagel with our U Card,” Bowman said. He added that they’d like to see the U Card become a more viable option for students who lived off-campus.
In his second year of involvement in MSA, Bowman is the organization’s speaker and serves on the University’s senate committee for student behavior. Clark, also a Carlson School of Management sophomore, has no previous experience in the student association, but is a member of the University Marching Band and serves as president of the Zeta class of the Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity; he also lives in Comstock Hall.
The candidates garnered the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Council endorsement.
Both feel they can give a unique blend of experience and knowledge to MSA as president and vice president. Through contacts made in past leadership experiences, they believe their issues are feasible goals that can be accomplished — despite the fact the same issues, such as wider use of the U Card and the bus route, have been raised in past elections.
To finally resolve the issue, the candidates vow to press the administration on more uses for the U Card; they also plan to research what other universities are implementing for their university cards.
“A lot was promised to us that hasn’t materialized,” Bowman said.
They have heavy campaigning planned for the next week, which includes a plan for Clark to ride the Campus Circulators to discuss transportation issues with students. Although they have the usual campaign modes of posters and flyers in mind, Bowman and Clark want to reach out to the University’s students themselves.
“Instead of students seeing posters, we would rather have them see us,” Clark said. “Our goal is to reach out to the students personally.”