Page, Heth win MSA leader posts

JP Leider

Amid low voter turnout Max Page and Monica Heth won their bid to become the next Minnesota Student Association president and vice president.

Page and Heth beat their opponents, Anthony Dew and Jeff Tate, by a 262-student margin, about 10 percent of the vote.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without the volunteers,” Page said.

The volunteers put in hundreds of hours of campaigning, Page said, and he “loves each and every one of them for it.”

Heth said she looks forward to ensuring MSA acts in a “relevant way” to students.

“It was really strange to be out there and (meet students who) have no idea what MSA is,” she said.

After the polls closed Wednesday evening, 2,840 of 27,016 eligible students had voted. Last year 3,839 students voted in all-campus elections.

All Campus Election Commissioner Eric Ling said the low voter turnout was understandable because of the number of candidates.

“Each candidate had in excess of about 1,200 votes; that’s actually comparable to past years’ candidates,” he said.

A lack of filing set this year’s campaigns apart from others. Whereas at least five tickets declared candidacy for MSA president/vice present the past two years, only two tickets filed this year.

Well after both camps spoke and commiserated about the election, Dew spoke dejectedly of his failed bid.

“The issues (we campaigned on) were important to me and a lot of people at this University,” he said.

Dew said people “got excited” to know the issues he and Tate were taking up.

“That’s what hurts, because I don’t know what direction MSA is going to go in, but I hope the issues that we’re bringing up will get addressed,” he said.

Dew said he wants to stay involved, but that it is too soon to know to what extent.

Tate said that while the results “sting,” he enjoyed the experience because of the people he met, and that the issues he campaigned for hadn’t been seen before.

Noah Seligman, Page and Heth’s campaign manager, said Dew and Tate’s campaign ran on important student issues.

“I like (Dew and Tate) both and I hope they continue to work with MSA; I look forward to working with them next year,” he said.

As a show of good will, Seligman and Dew swapped campaign T-shirts after the results came in, which Seligman likened to the exchange of jerseys after a soccer game.

Adriana Reis, a student who campaigned for Dew and Tate, said she was disappointed with the results because of what she thought Dew and Tate would have brought to MSA.

“They gave their heart and everything they had,” she said. “They brought up issues that had not been raised before.”

What was most frustrating, Reis said, is that Page’s ticket had the University DFL endorsement.

Student government is supposed to be nonpartisan, she said.

All seven U-DFL-endorsed candidates won their at-large representative bids.

The 16th at-large position in MSA fell to a tie, which will be addressed at the April 25 Forum meeting.