Ma, Cowin win MSA election as students elect 2020-21 campus leaders

The Council of Graduate Students and Professional Student Government will also welcome new leadership for the 2020-21 academic year.

Presidential candidate Amy Ma, left, and vice presidential candidate Becca Cowin, right. Courtesy of the candidates.

Presidential candidate Amy Ma, left, and vice presidential candidate Becca Cowin, right. Courtesy of the candidates.

Samantha Hendrickson

All University of Minnesota student governments have new leadership for the 2020-21 academic year, as election results were announced by the University’s Campus Elections Team Wednesday afternoon.

Amy Ma and Rebecca Cowin won the MSA election with 51% of the total undergraduate vote. Ma and Cowin received 1,342 votes, while opponents Gurtaran Johal and Arshia Hussain received 721 and Zachary Riffle and Parthsarthi Mishra 568. 

Brett Heischmidt won the Council of Graduate Students’ presidency with 54% of the vote and Madison Andersen was elected as his vice president. 

Eman Qureshi won the Professional Student Government’s presidency with 52% of the vote, alongside Marra Clay for vice president. 

MSA candidates Juan Mantilla and Sikai Yang were eliminated from the election, according to the University voting results. 

The Campus Elections Team extended voting from April 3 to April 8 in order to allow study abroad students the opportunity to vote in the undergraduate elections. Previously, students studying abroad were not allowed to participate on account of not paying the MSA special assessment fee. 

This year’s election looked different from years past due to University measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

During the peak campaigning weeks, many in-person events were canceled. Candidates halted campaigning strategies such as visiting student groups, going door-to-door and tabling events, all of which are typical for gathering votes in the annual student government election.  

The candidates campaigned entirely on social media, taking to platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share their advocacy plans and testimonials of committed voters.