Madia and Murphy are candidates of hope

by By Jim

Hope is an incredible attribute that voters should find in every candidate for leadership of the student body. To me, hope is about believing in the power of students to make change, and looking for a broad spectrum of beliefs to achieve change.
In Matt Musel’s April 21 letter, “Donovan and Bohlool make team of hope,” he uses more than three-quarters of his space to discuss the negative characteristics of the Madia-Murphy ticket, something that has little to do with hope and more to do with the “political cynicism” he appears to fear. One must wonder why he did not use the entire space to discuss the strengths of the candidates he supports.
I could have done a better job describing the strengths of Donovan and Bohlool’s leadership attributes. However, Musel apparently felt his space would be better spent writing very strong, poorly supported statements against the Madia-Murphy campaign. I have a few issues with the topics that he addressed.
Musel begins by talking about the lack of hope in the Madia-Murphy ticket and among their supporters. I must ask Musel how much time he has spent with those individuals? How many conversations has he had with Madia and Murphy’s supporters? Although my experience has been limited, after spending some time at two campaign meetings, I was surprised at the level of energy and support for both Madia and Murphy. In addition, this campaign has something that has been lacking in the past — support from a broad spectrum of political backgrounds. Being non-partisan is not taken lightly by either Madia or Murphy.
I was ecstatic when I entered the room and saw strong supporters of both liberal and conservative viewpoints, and even more excited when there was little mention of anything other than why Madia and Murphy were such a good team. Partisan politics were left at the door and will continue to be if Madia and Murphy are elected.
Musel continues to complain about Madia-Murphy in relation to Madia’s position as an insider to MSA. Where were Corey Donovan and Kiaora Bohlool last year — both actively working for MSA. I would venture a guess that they all worked hard to promote the needs of students.
Every candidate’s commitment to the student body should not be in doubt. The better question that must be answered at the voting booth is: What ticket will lead MSA in a new and better direction?
The issue that Musel writes about, that I am struggling with the most, is his broad character discussion of Bridgette Murphy, a person with whom he has spent little or no time. In Musel’s definition of a token running mate, Bridgette Murphy is no different than Kiaora Bohlool.
They have both been more active outside of MSA than within; they are both members of the greek community. Murphy’s leadership outside the walls of MSA may be the very experience that will help revitalize an organization that has never been fully in touch with the needs of the student body. Murphy’s work with the Program Against Sexual Violence and the greek community and her impact on the St. Paul campus shows the breadth of her experience and demonstrates that her contribution to MSA will be far greater than token.
There is a strong belief that the MSA leadership must move in a new direction to revitalize not only the organization, but to truly empower the student body. Madia and Murphy will do just this.
They balance each other out, come from very different backgrounds and experiences, and will make MSA a more open and inviting place to a diversity of perspectives.
It is about time that the leaders of MSA realize what students have known for a long time. Student government is about providing a safer campus, greater educational opportunities and a forum for students to voice their concerns to the leaders of the student body. Although I wish all of the candidates the best of luck, recognizing how difficult this campaign can be, I truly believe that the hope that Musel talks about is found with Jigar Madia and Bridgette Murphy.
Jim Hilt is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts.