MSA leaders reflect on year

Tracy Ellingson

Helen Phin came into the Minnesota Student Association office late Thursday afternoon ready to hand over her desk, her keys and her duties as the organization’s president to her successors.
“It’s over and I’m glad,” Phin said, as she took a break from her hectic week. “I guess it’s nice to be able to be a private citizen again.”
One year ago, Phin and MSA Vice President Eric Hanson took office after defeating four other presidential tickets. Thursday, the two took time to reflect on their accomplishments, disappointments and the role they’ll play with the organization in the year ahead.
“I didn’t go into it thinking we were going to alter the University in fabulous ways,” said Hanson, who added that he usually veered away from tackling issues traditionally addressed in MSA.
“I feel a little bit strange about it because it’s not like we lowered tuition or something,” Hanson said, “but I think we’ve laid the groundwork for someone to be very successful next year.”
Hanson said this year’s MSA played a significant role in building strong relationships with key administrators at the University. These officials will remain in contact with the organization even after Yudof takes over in July, he said.
Phin agreed that she and her administration made a strong effort to connect the students with administrators, particularly during the University presidential selection.
Hanson, who is majoring in organizational leadership and communication in the Bachelor of Individualized Studies program, campaigned for new MSA President Jigar Madia and Vice President Bridgette Murphy and plans to get involved in promotions in their administration.
Phin said she will stop by the office and serve as an adviser when needed. But, she said she will concentrate on graduating next year. Phin is a College of Liberal Arts junior majoring in journalism.
“I think there are a lot of people that will be involved with MSA next year that know of me but don’t know me personally,” said Phin, who added, “It sounds funny, but it’s a new generation of leaders.”
Phin said she would advise her successor to be “more of a coalition builder than he’s ever been before.” As for MSA leaders in general, Phin said that they should maintain the same high standards they have always held.
“I’ve always noted that students always have much higher standards than anybody else in the conglomerate on campus,” Phin said, “much higher standards than the faculty, much higher standards than the administration.”