Shook-Cofield the qualified ticket

The Shook ticket, not the incumbent ticket, offers the skills needed to lead undergraduate students.

Spencer Meade

As a student senator and a two-year member of the Minnesota Student Association, I feel the need to weigh in on the current MSA presidential election. On Thursday, I read a letter to the editor written by a former member of the MSA. The letter advocated for Paul Strain and Paul Buchel, and it angered me to the point of needing to refute it. LetâÄôs be honest here: This is a two-horse race. Andrew Wagner and Tove Garber, I appreciate that you want to be a part of our student government. However, your youth and complete lack of experience with MSA make you poor candidates to say the least. My suggestion: Get into the organization next year as at-large representatives, see if you even like being a part of it and then run for its highest office. As for Cortez Riley and Mandi Stebbins, there is some good experience there, but it simply pales in comparison to that of the other two, and I do not think they have the influence to really be contenders. I have gotten to know the candidates of the other two tickets in my past two years in MSA, and I have a need to speak out in favor of Sarah Shook and Brandon Cofield. First of all, Paul Strain and Paul Buchel are two of the last people that I want representing this campus. Strain has spent the past year as the president of MSA and has done little to improve an organization that somehow justifies a significant amount of fees money. He has been a timid leader at best and has bowed to the will of Vice President Alicia Smith. In short, Paul Strain is not a leader. The problem with this ticket is that Paul Buchel is not a leader either. He is currently chairman of the Legislative Affairs Committee, but the accomplishments of his committee were not his own doing. His main position statement was one that was in favor of the social host ordinance. He also proposed this position statement without the consent of his committee, which, interestingly enough, includes Sarah Shook. Do you really want a vice president who has a tendency to write legislation without the consent of other members? If you had ever met these two individuals, you would be amazed that anybody put them in a leadership position. These two have neither the personality nor the capacity to lead MSA. Then there are Sarah and Brandon. Sarah will be walking into this election after serving as the president of the Panhellenic Council and as the ranking representative to the Board of Regents. She, unlike the Pauls, has the personality and capacity to be one of the best presidents MSA has ever seen. While Paul Buchel was attempting to get the student body to support an ordinance that was inherently intended to do them harm, Sarah was leading the charge to get a medical amnesty amendment put into University of Minnesota and city legislation. While Strain has talked a lot about the things he wants to do with the power of the president, Sarah has been making the contacts to actually make that possible âÄî contacts that include President Bob Bruininks and the Board of Regents. In their time in MSA, Strain and Buchel have at best done little to improve the organization and the same will be true of next year. This is truly a case of two people looking for a résumé builder with no leadership skill to warrant the power they have or desire. Do not be fooled by empty promises that are being made by the Pauls for lower tuition and better campus housing because that will neither happen in a year, nor will it be their priority. By electing the Pauls, you will be effectively telling the student body that you are not interested in real progress and that you are fine with our student government the way that it is. However, as a member for the past two years, I can tell you that so much more could be done to positively affect this campus, and you need intelligent leaders to get to that point. I cannot tell you how many times I have questioned the intelligence of the current leadership on MSA, and it would be a shame to continue to have that same poor leadership. So if you want anything positive to get done on this campus, then, for the love of God, vote for Sarah and Brandon. Spencer Meade University undergraduate student