MSA, GAPSA candidates run unopposed

Lack of opponents attributed to time-intensive process and graduation of leaders.

The presidential candidates for next yearâÄôs leadership roles in the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly are running unopposed, but the All Campus Elections are still being held from April 6 to April 8. Current MSA Facilities and Housing Chairman Paul Strain is running for group president with Legislative Affairs Chairwoman Alicia Smith as vice president. In GAPSA, current President Kristi Kremers is running for the position again. Strain said he thinks one reason no one else is running is because there will be a high turnover of MSA members; most of the groupâÄôs current leaders wonâÄôt be around next semester. MSA member Martin Chorzempa said he briefly considered running for president. He said he changed his mind, however, because he talked with the candidates and was assured by their goals. He also didnâÄôt think he had the time to devote to an effective campaign. To run on an MSA presidential ticket, candidates need to acquire 500 signatures in order to have their name on the ballot. Chorzempa said he doesnâÄôt think this time-intensive process is a deterrent from running. âÄúI think itâÄôs really good that itâÄôs such a hard selection process to get there because it kind of shows that you can withstand the challenges of the job once youâÄôre elected,âÄù he said. MSA Speaker of Forum Mark Lewandowski ran for the position last year, but said he didnâÄôt have the time this year. âÄúThe requirements to run can be intimidating,âÄù he said. âÄúI just didnâÄôt feel like I would be able to give the amount of time and energy that being president or vice president requires.âÄù GAPSA President Kremers said one reason no one else is running could be because seven of the 10 executive board members are graduating. âÄúTypically for the presidential role you want to have somebody whoâÄôs been involved in GAPSA either at the executive level or within the assembly,âÄù Kremers said. âÄúIt really takes some institutional knowledge to be able to carry out the duties of president.âÄù Other members of the GAPSA executive board, like Vice President for Student Affairs Jeffrey Anderson , said they are happy Kremers is running again. âÄúI donâÄôt think I could do a better job than Kristi,âÄù Anderson said. âÄúIâÄôm very glad sheâÄôs running again. SheâÄôs one of the most motivated people that I know and sheâÄôs very dedicated.âÄù Kremers also attributed the restructuring of the Graduate School as a possible reason no one else is running. âÄúWeâÄôre in a dire situation where we really have to fight for the visibility of graduate and professional students and I think that IâÄôm the best person to do that because of the relationships that IâÄôve built so far,âÄù Kremers said. âÄúIt would be a disservice to the graduate and professional students I represent if I stepped down now.âÄù MSA vice presidential candidate Smith said although she and Strain are running unopposed, they will still do their best to represent the student body. Strain and SmithâÄôs main concerns include improving Lend a Hand, Hear the Band, strengthening lobbying efforts and creating a more paper-free University. âÄúWhether or not we are running against anybody, we still want to be held accountable, and we still want to be held to a standard,âÄù she said. Students can vote online between April 6 and 8 at