Miller and Sanders know student needs

When students vote for president and vice president of the University’s Minnesota Student Association on Tuesday and Wednesday, they need to select the two candidates who have realistic goals for what student government can accomplish. Presidential candidate Adam Miller and running mate Jill Sanders are honest enough to admit the limited powers of MSA, but they also know that the group has a unique ability to influence campus life. “MSA is where coalitions on campus are built,” Miller said. Miller and Sanders meet the criteria that University students should hold for all MSA candidates. Through their teamwork, accessibility and honesty, Miller and Sanders are the most qualified contenders to head MSA.
Miller and Sanders know what needs to be done in the 1998-99 academic year. Their priorities include getting student input on plans for Coffman Union renovations and the South Mall project. If elected, Miller and Sanders will push for a student-run bookstore in Coffman. Considering students’ complaints about unnecessarily high book prices, such an operation would ease one of their most vital concerns. Legislatively, Sanders and Miller plan to establish a Twin Cities campus lobbying group. Getting students to lobby legislators for campus-specific needs will protect Twin Cities interests more than the University-wide Student Legislative Coalition. Miller and Sanders also look out for students off campus with their plan to establish a renters’ information center.
The pair boasts a modest agenda — but too modest in some respects. Given only a year in office, it is impossible to accomplish all the goals set. To achieve anything, Miller and Sanders need to trim their agenda. Their plans to establish an Internet cafe in Coffman should be ditched. The project would take too much time and would not serve student interests as much as the other items on their wish list. Computers are already abundant at the University. Miller and Sanders also want to create a student tenure review committee. Although the idea would provide more direct student input in the important tenure process, the concept is too much of a long shot. Miller and Sanders need to look more critically at their limited abilities, but at least they have taken some steps. While most MSA candidates said they will fight to keep tuition low, Miller said it is unrealistic to rally enough student support if the hikes are small, expected increases.
A year from today, University students will be held as accountable as the candidates they elect for improving campus life. Miller and Sanders plan to address the most immediate student needs and interests. They know what students want because they’ve already established connections with campus organizations that help gather student input. Miller has spent his University time working with residence hall and student legislative committees. Sanders has strong connections to the student cultural centers and academic program leaders. The outward-bound stance that Miller and Sanders have taken moves away from the political in-fighting that has plagued MSA this year. Students need to vote for Miller and Sanders if they want the University to have a productive year.