MSA running mates plan to reduce campus apathy

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 second in a series of five articles profiling the five candidates and their running mates.

When contemplating running for the top spots in the Minnesota Student Association, one thing made the decision for George Morris and Kelly Hite:
Students’ blank expressions when the term “Minnesota Student Association” was mentioned.
Disheartened by students’ lack of knowledge and involvement, the pair set out to break the traditional campus apathy.
Presidential candidate Morris, a senior in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences, and running mate Hite, a senior in the College of Natural Resources, are campaigning to get MSA more involved on campus. They want to ensure that students know what the organization is and what it does.
“Lots of people don’t know what MSA is or does — we want to bring it back to the students,” Morris said.
The pair plans to bring the association closer to the student body with a platform packed with what they feel are feasible, realistic goals.
By making MSA Forum meetings more accessible to students via rotating locations throughout the two campuses and having the student association participate in activities like Homecoming, they hope to get the organization’s name out to all students.
The two also plan other smaller improvements, such as sponsoring an MSA “Club of the Month” and simplifying the organization’s Web site.
Morris and Hite place monitoring tuition increases on their “to-do” list as well, including plans to meet with the Board of Regents to discuss options for the University.
“We know we can’t stop the increases, but we’d like to limit it to the smallest amount possible,” Morris said.
The pair would also like to look into the possibility of lowering student services fees by using MSA as a tool to inform fees-receiving organizations of outside grant opportunities.
“The money is out there, and people need to do the work to get it,” Hite said.
Although Morris and Hite have no previous experience with MSA, both have a long list of involvement in University organizations.
Morris is the vice president for Agricultural Ambassadors and is in the Delta Theta Sigma fraternity. He is also involved in the COAFES student board.
Hite is president of the Minnesota Student Project for Amity Among Nations and is involved in the Lambda Delta Phi sorority. She also remains on the student board for the College of Biological Sciences, though she transferred to natural resources.
“MSA can be better,” Morris said. “Maybe we won’t be experienced with how the organization is run, but it’ll be a fresh, new perspective from the outside.” Hite added that her and Morris’ experience with budgeting and accounting in their respective college boards will be an asset to MSA.
The candidates hope for a chance to make the organization more accessible — one that reaches out to the students, not vice versa.
“The only way to get students involved is to make things accessible,” Hite said. “Otherwise, they won’t try because of all the pressures of being a student.”