Q & A with next year’s MSA leaders

They hope to make MSA more visible and continue to be a voice for the student body.

by Elizabeth Cook

As the semester begins to dwindle, next year’s Minnesota Student Association leaders continue finalizing ideas for the coming year.

Emma Olson, president-elect, and Ross Skattum, vice president-elect, sat down with the Daily and discussed their goals for the University and its student body.

What are your plans for next year?

Olson: We really want to increase the integrity of MSA, and we want to see the stereotypes that you hear or see Ö to change drastically. I think (current president and vice president) Max (Page) and Monica (Heth) have done a good job going in that direction, but we want to continue that.

Skattum: We want to just make sure that all students see that MSA is a point of pride, not only for the members but for the entire University as a whole because there’s so many good services and so much we can do for the University. And it would be kind of nice to get a high profile out there.

Olson: We really want to increase awareness about how textbooks can be cheaper. We want to hold a forum in the fall. We want to research the possibility of a rental program (for books) Ö starting with the basic classes. We want to do sort of an eBay situation. We want to work on guidelines for professors.

How do you plan on fighting voter apathy next year?

Olson: I think through the programs that we are going to be working on Ö a lot of the voter apathy will hopefully decrease.

Skattum: Also, we’re going to have some continuity this year. We are going to build off of what Max and Monica did this year.

Are you planning on keeping some of programs, like Lend a Hand, Hear the Band and the MSA Express?

Skattum: We drove it last weekend, and it was such a positive response. We definitely want to keep (it) and expand it if possible.

Olson: And even look into it going to a system where the University would run it instead of MSA.

Skattum: And we’re going to be working this summer to secure outside funding from local business and stuff. We’re going to see if they’d be interested in it.

How do you plan on keeping MSA visible?

Olson: We’re really looking into making sure that there are more events that are visible to students and more recognizable.

Skattum: We just want to be able to participate as much as possible and get to know the incoming freshmen and showing them that MSA is a really good resource.

What are the other goals?

Olson: Teacher evaluations is something that we’re really passionate about Ö because right now you don’t really know who you’re getting unless you’ve heard from friends or other classmates. This is also something that I think will really help keep teachers more accountable as well.

Skattum: We’ve made a promise Ö to visit at least four (student groups) a month. If they have any questions or Ö if they want to bring forth a resolution or a position statement for the entire forum to hear, we’ll be able to be a resource to them.

Why did you want to be in MSA? And how are you going to try and ensure you have the time to perform your jobs well?

Olson: This is my No. 1 priority overall. I really think that Ross and I can do a really good job and that MSA has the potential to really take the student body’s needs where they need to be and make it more legitimate and make the students voices’ heard.

Skattum: This is my No. 1 priority. I joined because I had to take a year off from school Ö because I didn’t have enough money to attend and I didn’t want to get a ton of loans.

And so I worked all year and then I came back and I was just looking for an organization that could really help someone so that students don’t have to go through my similar situation.

We can’t do much about tuition Ö but we can work on things like textbooks costs and just try to bring the cost of attendance down.