Candidates announced for upcoming MSA, GAPSA elections

Meet the candidates for MSA and GAPSA leadership positions

Political science sophomore Colter Heirigs and animal science junior Angela Ugorets are running for president and vice president of MSA.

Marisa Wojcik

Political science sophomore Colter Heirigs and animal science junior Angela Ugorets are running for president and vice president of MSA.

by Jenna Wilcox


The All Campus Elections Commission formally approved the five candidates running for leadership positions in the undergraduate and graduate student governments at the University of Minnesota.

Two pairs of candidates will contend for president and vice president of the Minnesota Student Association.

Junior entrepreneurial management major Taylor Williams is running for the MSA presidency with Jilian Koski, a political science freshman.

Colter Heirigs, a political science and African-American studies sophomore, is also running for MSA president with Angela Ugorets, the current Panhellenic Council president.

Brittany Edwards, the acting Graduate and Professional Student Assembly president, is the lone candidate for the position next year.

All of the candidates have received the necessary 500 signature endorsements from students and have begun campaigning on campus.

ACEC will host a debate for the pairs of MSA candidates March 27.

Since there is only one candidate for GAPSA president, the March 29 GAPSA debate will likely be an open forum to ask questions.

The general election will be held April 2-4.

The presidential candidates took some time to talk to the Minnesota Daily about why they’re the right person for the job.


MSA candidates

Taylor Williams
Current year: Junior
Major: Entrepreneurial Management
Campus involvement: MSA, Minnesota Debate Team, Sigma Chi

Jilian Koski
Current year: Freshman
Major: Political Science
Campus involvement: MSA, Alpha Omicron Pi

Why did you decide to run?

There is a great opportunity to make student government matter for students. For so long it was kind of a place where people go and have power struggles and debate political issues, but we really want to focus on things that can really make a difference on campus.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

One of the big things that sets our team apart is the coalition that we’ve built. We have a huge amount of support from the committee directors, leadership, speaker of the forum, other leaders from different MSA groups [and] at-large members … We’ve built a coalition of people that are going to be on MSA next year and want to make the changes that we’re proposing so we can do great things together.

How can you improve MSA?

Having a good manager as a leader is one big thing, be inclusive — and that means managing relationships and being nice and welcoming everyone. Right now there is so much contention inside [MSA] because people are always feeling like they’re struggling against someone else. We’re trying to help students [so] we don’t need to be fighting battles. We can all do our own thing in many ways and still impact the student body.

Campaign highlights:

A Safer Campus: Advocate for more street lamps and police officers.

Medical Amnesty: A policy change to make students who call for help regarding over consumption of alcohol not be cited for underage drinking.

Make Students Matter: Play a larger role in advocating for students.



Colter Heirigs
Current year: Sophomore
Major: Political Science and African American Studies
Campus involvement: Association of Big Ten Students, University Student Legal Service, Interfraternity Council, Sigma Chi

Angela Ugorets
Current year: Junior
Major: Animal Science
Campus involvement: MSA, University Policies and Student Concerns, Panhellenic Council, Hillel: The Jewish Student Center, American Medical Student Association, Alpha Omicron Pi

Why did you decide to run?

Angela and I entered this race because we believe this campus needs a student government that will stand for students. MSA has made a lot of steps in the right direction this past year, but we believe there is far more to be done.

What sets you apart from the other team?

We believe that our ticket’s diverse leadership experience will provide us with poise for the upcoming year to enhance student rights, create new resources for students and advocate for affordable tuition and medical amnesty at the state, city and University-wide levels.

How can you improve MSA?

We would like to see follow-up on issues. One of the main things we want to follow up on is the ordinance that currently has students renting against city ordinance, and we want to have a follow-up campaign on that. So far [in the past] we haven’t quite had the response that we were hoping for.

Campaign highlights:

Student Rights: Create a policy to protect students calling for help regarding underage drinking.

Facilities and Resources Access: Extend library hours.



GAPSA candidate

Brittany Edwards

Edwards is a public policy student in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She graduated from Kalamazoo College in 2004 with an undergraduate degree in English and religion.

She was appointed executive vice president of the organization in September and became acting president when then-president, Abou Amara, resigned in February.

Why did you decide to run?

I was asked by several council presidents at a president’s council meeting if I would consider running. After reorganizing meetings, its clear there is leadership needed, and I decided to help with that. GAPSA has a history of conflict and mismanagement, but with consistent vision, leadership and willingness to listen, we’re going to be able to improve.

How do you think you can improve GAPSA?

By listening and responding to people. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also simple. It’s about building relationships with people. I don’t think it’s really that complicated, but it takes time.