MSA presidential candidates hope to ride late bus to victory

The Minnesota Student Association has been working with Parking and Transportation Services on a late-night campus shuttle for several months.

Emily Ayshford

Most college students have not ridden a big yellow school bus since high school.

But they had the chance Friday night, when Minnesota Student Association presidential candidates Ryan Johnson and Ben Behrendt rented one to promote their late-night bus campaign.

The candidates rented the bus and a driver for $210 for the night using money from their campaign fund, which was built up through T-shirts sales and private donations.

Johnson said more than 100 people took advantage of the bus throughout the night. It was available at seven stops around the East and West banks of campus.

Johnson said the candidates rented the bus because a University late-night bus is part of their campaign platform. He said many other large universities, such as Michigan, make such an option available to students.

Gina Nelson, an MSA vice-presidential candidate, said although she did not see the bus, she thinks the University needs a late-night shuttle.

“It was a good idea,” she said.

MSA presidential candidate Andy Pomroy said he was disappointed with the program Johnson and Behrendt chose.

“We’re leaning more towards a subsidized taxi service since we’re such a spread-out campus,” Pomroy said.

MSA facilities and housing chairman Matt Humbert said he has been working with Parking and Transportation Services on a late-night shuttle for several months, and MSA is in the final process of putting together an initial proposal.

“A lot of work has gone into it,” Humbert said.

Humbert said they were leaning toward a dispatch service where students could call if they had no other way home.

Rebekah Hewitt, a College of Liberal Arts first-year student who rode the bus Friday, said she liked the idea of a late-night bus.

“It’s free. It’s awesome,” she said. She added that although she normally would not have voted in the all-campus elections, she would probably vote for Johnson and Behrendt because of the bus.

MSA elections will be held this Wednesday and Thursday.

Emily Ayshford welcomes comments at [email protected]