Beyond ineffectual student government

The Minnesota Student Association needs student support to have any legitimacy.

Every year the Minnesota Student Association elections come around and seem like blips on the spring semester timeline. Until the elections roll around, MSA might as well be on a milk carton in many students’ minds.

Largely powerless as it is in its current state, MSA is the only student government we really have. We might as well work to improve it for future University students.

MSA needs first to regain respect. Students need to vote in the MSA elections, and they need to do so in large numbers. The larger number of students voting, the harder it is for University administration to ignore MSA.

Second, MSA needs to become more visible on campus with issues that truly affect students such as housing issues, tuition fights, demands for more diverse degree programs on campus (like an Arabic major) and University Dining Services issues.

If MSA works on these first two tenants in the next few years, they will be able to push for the third step in giving power back to students in the form of a counting vote on the Board of Regents. If MSA is to have any real effect and provide a student counterweight to University administration, MSA must have some real power in the decisions process. With this power never again will an administration so easily push sickeningly high tuition hikes onto students or force students to accept expensive books and meal plans.

It all starts with you voting today. MSA needs your votes and the credibility that comes with them. It may be easy to crack jokes about MSA now, but when one realizes who benefits from the deterioration of MSA, things aren’t so funny.