Colburn: past year a success for MSA

Emily Ayshford

As his Minnesota Student Association presidency comes to a close, Josh Colburn said he considers the last year a success.

“We’ve changed the face of student government,” Colburn said. “People want to be in it again. People want to be part of MSA.”

Colburn cites a list of MSA accomplishments this year, including a late-night bus proposal, increasing voter turnout by more than 1,000 people, reorganizing the Student Legislative Coalition to save students money and having the most successful Lobby Day in history.

However, Colburn said, he wanted to accomplish a few more things.

“I would have liked to give a little more outreach to commuter students,” he said.

He said he would have liked to get a late-night bus program running earlier but was unable to because of time and budget constraints.

Marty Wingard, an MSA forum member, said his feelings about Colburn’s presidency were mixed. He said he did not agree with Colburn’s student fees selector choices because they were both liberal and would tend to choose people for the Student Services Fees Committee who would make students pay more money.

“He claims to be a Republican but picks two people that will raise your fees,” Wingard said.

Wingard said he expected an MSA president to look out for the student body as a whole, but he thought Colburn and Vice President Eric Dyer were more involved with residence halls.

“Their actions would not benefit your average commuter students,” Wingard said.

However, Wingard said Colburn did a good job of managing the office and running meetings.

“Things are more in control,” Wingard said.

Dyer, the incoming president, said his plans for next year include establishing a better relationship with different students in the community, starting a late-night bus, securing plans for an on-campus stadium and instituting a parking-rate cap.

Dyer said he is satisfied with Colburn’s presidency but saw the year as a team effort between Colburn and himself.

“We’ve always been working together,” Dyer said.

Wingard said Dyer puts many hours of hard work into MSA but said he does not see MSA changing radically with his presidency.

“Because he was vice president, I think you’re going to see a lot of the same things,” Wingard said.

Colburn will continue to be involved with MSA next year as a student representative to the Board of Regents, but he said he will try to stay as hands-off with the presidency as possible.

“I’m going to scale back and let somebody else do the job for a while,” he said.

Dyer said Colburn knows next year will be Dyer and Vice President Gina Nelson’s time to shine, and he said he knows Colburn will focus on being a representative to the regents.

“He will always be there as a resource,” Dyer said.

Dyer will officially take over as MSA president July 1.

Emily Ayshford covers student government and welcomes comments at [email protected]