A blogger’s thoughts on MSA elections

There are reasons to vote for each ticket; it simply depends on voters' priorities.

The Minnesota Student Association presidential elections have traditionally produced very little campus interest. This seems bewildering, given students can vote easily, merely by logging into their x.500 account. Also, one would expect students to want to choose who runs the undergraduate student government. Still, a definitive majority, approximately 70 percent to 80 percent, not only refrains from voting, but makes a conscious effort not to partake in the process. This column is for those who choose to make their voice heard.

This year, few have followed the MSA presidential election as closely as I. I do not make this claim as a braggart. As news relating to the MSA presidential campaigns developed, I would post the information, sometimes coupled with analysis, on my Web log. There were times during this process when I wondered if MSA really deserves this coverage, if people care enough about MSA for this journalistic experiment to be worthwhile or if I was wasting my time. But with cooperation from the campaigns I have come up with a final audit of the field.

The Emily-Colin campaign has adopted a very grassroots-oriented campaign and have adamantly defined tuition, specifically lower tuition, as their top priority. This devotion is evidenced by their past actions. Besides organizing the University graduate students and supporting last year’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees strike, Emily Serafy Cox served as MSA’s Legislative Affairs Committee chairwoman this past year and organized one of the strongest Lobby Days to date. Colin Schwensohn, a union member, has had a history of supporting such causes.

The Denzer-Garcia campaign deserves an immense amount of credit for running one of the best “outsider” campaigns in years. By creating a broad social network and researching MSA’s history, they have stayed competitive. Though they have the least MSA experience, they are good leaders who can motivate people, a very important characteristic for the executive positions.

The Meyer-Newman campaign has had surprising grassroots support and might have an important effect on the election. If you believe Student Services Fees are distributed poorly, or even unconstitutionally, this is the ticket for you. A vote for this Reagan-esque campaign would be a vote for truly lessening MSA’s presence on campus. This team feels strongly that MSA gets too much money and its funding should be cut substantially.

The Pierce-White ticket has the most MSA experience. This team really knows the “ins and outs” of running the organization. Amy Jo Pierce is the current MSA vice president, and I know she has learned a lot from MSA President Tom Zearley this year. Katie White is the current Residence Hall Association president. It is clear this campaign does not lack the ability to function in executive positions. They say their number one priority is to involve students in all decision-making. Voting for them would be a vote in support of a MSA structure relatively similar to years past.

Finally, the Rubens-Katy campaign seek to change the way MSA is run, though I see very few of their actions as reformatory. They seek to change MSA by adding positions to the MSA Forum by incorporating college boards. This ticket seems to have a genuine attitude that changing MSA is the right thing to do, even if few of their proposals don’t change the system very much or are broad and vague promises.

There you have it. This is the most careful analysis I can provide. Take time to learn more if you desire, and make sure to vote.

Thanks, M’sB.

Monster’s Ball is a University student who has been covering the MSA elections. For more information, please go to monstersball.blogspot.com.