MSA leaders: Group has been successful in many of its goals

All Forum members interviewed agreed that this was the best semester for MSA since they have been involved.

Jens Krogstad

The Minnesota Student Association’s year got off to a rocky start before it even officially began, when MSA Vice President Gina Nelson resigned the week before school started.

Then-speaker Jeff Nath was installed as vice president, and the Forum voted to install Marty Andrade – who ran for MSA president on an “abolish MSA” platform – as speaker.

MSA President Eric Dyer said he was nervous about the upcoming year.

“Man, is it going to be a long year,” he said.

Since then, Dyer and MSA Forum members said, the organization has rebounded nicely, producing one of MSA’s better semesters in recent memory.

“I ran on capping parking rates, the late-night bus and building a football stadium,” Dyer said. “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

He said MSA pushed the administration to cap parking rates at the parking lots near Huron Boulevard, saving students more than $60,000 per week.

Housing and Facilities Chairman Tom Zearley was in charge of the late-night bus pilot program, and he said in a recent meeting that the program will likely be implemented permanently for the next school year.

As for the on-campus football stadium, something Dyer pushed hard for in his campaign last spring, he said he is not as optimistic.

“Honestly, it looks like the football stadium is a long ways off,” he said.

All Forum members interviewed agreed that this was the best semester for MSA since they have been involved.

Andrade and other Forum members said they were especially pleased about how the organization handled the late-night bus, housing issues and its active involvement with the on-campus football stadium talks. In addition, Forum member Dan Nelson said, Forum attendance this year has been the best he has seen.

Looking ahead to next semester, MSA plans to debate possible changes to University Dining Services plans and the Graduation Proficiency Test. It also wants to talk about establishing online professor evaluations.