Candidates gear up as MSA election nears

Minnesota Student Association candidates campaign while battling low voter turnout.

Luke Feuerherm

Candidates for president and vice president of the Minnesota Student Association are fighting both for office and to increase dismal election turnouts that have haunted past elections. Candidates elected president and vice president speak for the University of MinnesotaâÄôs undergraduate student body and head MSA, which is the UniversityâÄôs student government. This yearâÄôs April 5-7 election will pit current president Paul Strain and new running mate Paul Buchel against three campaigns eager to replace the current officeholders. Strain and current vice president Alicia Smith won last yearâÄôs election with 94.25 percent of the vote. That meant capturing 656 of the 696 total votes cast by the 25,861 students eligible to vote. The three contenders who have emerged this year promise to bring more student attention to MSA, as well as a tighter race that will also feature the All Campus Elections CommissionâÄôs first use of instant runoff voting. The candidates will face each other in debate from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Coffman Union Theater. Check MNDaily.com to watch interviews with each set of candidates. To see the MN Daily interviews with the candidates go to www.mndaily.com/multimedia