An overview of the 2019-2020 PSG and COGS candidates

Professional and graduate students are vying for student government leadership and advocating for University change.

Kait Ecker

This week three candidates are on the All Campus Election ballot to fill four positions available in the University of Minnesota’s graduate and professional student governments.

Two candidates are running for vice president in the Professional Student Government, with one of the candidates also running for the president position. In the Council of Graduate Students, the sole candidate for president is running unopposed and the only candidate for vice presidency has dropped out. 

Joshua Clancy, candidate for PSG president and vice president

Joshua Clancy from the School of Public Health decided to run for both the presidency and vice presidency in PSG because both positions interested him. He has three key pillars for his platform, including equity in policies, environmental sustainability and community engagement. 

“This is a pretty big institution,” Clancy said. “There’s a lot of moving parts, but I’m hoping that my kind of knowledge about where to put a little bit of grease in the gears can help start shifting and changing this University to be a more equitable, more environmentally conscious and a more community-focused institution.” 

Clancy said he’s running because it’s also a learning and growing opportunity.

“I want to be better at leading people,” Clancy said. “I have a lot of changes I want to make in the world, and I want to explore all the avenues I can to make those changes.” 

Andrew Durkot, candidate for PSG vice president

Also running for PSG’s vice president is Andrew Durkot from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Confronting sexual misconduct on campus and helping professional students seeking dual-master’s degrees are integral to his platform, he said. His platform also focuses on improving campus sustainability.

“It’s the tiny little things that really add up in the long run, especially when you apply that to a campus as big as the University of Minnesota,” Durkot said.

The current PSG president Alanna Pawlowski encouraged him to pursue the opportunity, he said. The less intensive time commitment of a vice president opposed to a president’s time commitment appealed to Durkot as well, he said. 

Tommy Keller, candidate for COGS president

The only candidate running for president in COGS is Tommy Keller, who is studying applied economics.

“I would like to see graduate students receive more financial support from the University,” Keller wrote in an email to the Minnesota Daily. 

He said he would like to see this financial support come in the form of travel grants. His candidacy statement mentioned making sure graduate students have the resources they need with future changes to the Graduate Assistant Health Plan.

An open position for COGS’ vice president

There’s no candidate officially running for COGS vice president. 

The former candidate for COGS vice president, Ryan Machtmes, said he ran because he thought there would be at least one other candidate.

“I withdrew for personal reasons, and also because it had come to my attention that there were some potentially disqualifying unethical issues occurring within the leadership of COGS as relates to the position of vice president, that I had no interest in being party to,” Matchtmes said.

Whoever receives the most write-ins will be elected vice president of COGS.