PSG presidential candidates square off at Coffman Union

The candidates debated student issues ahead of the April elections.

Left to right, Michael Blomquist, Sumee Lee, Max Hall and Dane Thompson gather onstage for the Professional Student Government presidential and vice presidential candidate debate on Wednesday in the Coffman Union Theater.

Niti Gupta

Left to right, Michael Blomquist, Sumee Lee, Max Hall and Dane Thompson gather onstage for the Professional Student Government presidential and vice presidential candidate debate on Wednesday in the Coffman Union Theater.

Benjamin Farniok

The All Campus Elections Committee debates experienced another night of low turnout, with 13 audience members attending the Professional Student Government forum Wednesday evening.
 
 
Fewer than ten audience members attended the Council of Graduate Students forum the night before.
 
 
PSG presidential and vicepresidential candidates took the stage at Coffman Union to discuss their goals for the organization if elected. While the candidates had overlapping policy goals, their proposed avenues to achieve them differed.
 
 
The candidates fielded questions about their strategies to achieve policy goals, address diversity issues and increase PSG’s student engagement.
 
 
Presidential candidate Michael Blomquist, a first-year policy student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, said he wanted to direct his platform and leadership choices by getting to know constituents at a grassroots level. 
 
 
“PSG is a real resource for students and can be real valuable for them,” he said.
 
 
Presidential candidate Max Hall, a second-year law student who currently serves as the group’s secretary for the regents, said building on the relationship between the school councils and leaders is key to achieving policy goals.
 
 
“The way to get things done is to increase collaboration,” he said.
 
 
Blomquist said his lack of involvement in student government could work to his advantage because he wouldn’t let previous relationships with University and government leaders get in the way of representing students.
 
 
Sumee Lee, Blomquist’s running mate, said she wanted to emphasize improving diversity among professional students. 
 
 
The two said if elected, they hope to install a mentorship program to connect professional students with undergraduates. 
 
 
Hall and his running mate Dane Thompson said they hoped to improve mental health services available to professional students.
 
 
PSG represents 11,000 professional students from the Carlson School of Management, Law School, Medical School and seven other professional schools.PSG first formed last September after splitting from a group that represented both professional and graduate students.
 
 
The group’s presidential elections will take place from April 6 to 8.