Stangler, Reichl win MSA election

MSA veteran Joelle Stangler wants to start by addressing affordability.

Newly elected MSA president Joelle Stangler discuss her future plans as with MSA at the Northrop Inside Out After Dark reception on Friday evening.

Newly elected MSA president Joelle Stangler discuss her future plans as with MSA at the Northrop Inside Out After Dark reception on Friday evening.

Taylor Nachtigal

Joelle Stangler defeated Abdisamed Awed to become next year’s Minnesota Student Association president, garnering more than 76 percent of votes.

Stangler and incoming Vice President John Reichl celebrated their win at Northrop Auditorium’s grand reopening Friday night, surrounded by their friends and University administrators.

The duo said their connections to current MSA members and the greek community, as well as their efforts to rally freshman support, bolstered their campaign.

“We had a lot of confidence in our support team and people that were out for us,” Stangler said.

Voter turnout was lower than in last year’s MSA election, which Stangler attributed to a smaller pool of candidates than in past years.

“We as candidates sat down, and we said we’d really like to get as many votes as possible, and I think we were happy with the amount we got,” Reichl said.

In their campaign’s final week, Stangler and Reichl drove around campus in golf carts, offering students rides to class. During the ride, they asked students what they would change about the University.

Responses varied from complaints about salad dressing in dining halls to college affordability, Reichl said.

The first thing Stangler and Reichl plan to tackle is affordability, an issue both pairs of candidates prioritized in their campaigns.

“That is something that we need to have as our absolute top priority, because it takes a full year of lobbying to get what you want,” Stangler said.

They said they also hope to focus on MSA’s structure and make administrative improvements to the organization.

“We’ve already had discussions about what personnel we can place in key positions, what positions we can create [and] what positions we can remove to make us more streamlined, more efficient and more effective at outreach to the student body,” Reichl said.

Awed and vice presidential candidate Miguel Morales said that being first-year University students and newcomers to student government made campaigning challenging, though they said it was a rewarding experience.

“We didn’t have the same network Joelle and John created, but at the end of the day, we were just trying to touch home with all students,” Awed said.

After learning the election results, Awed and Morales congratulated the winners and offered their hopes for the upcoming year.

“We would really like Joelle and John to take diversity seriously, engage all students and make it a really inclusive environment for students on campus,” Awed said.

Both Awed and Morales plan to join MSA, a move that Stangler and Reichl welcome.

Stangler said she and Reichl hope to continue making headway on initiatives they’re already involved with, including some that aim to boost diversity on campus.

“We will be partnering with as many groups as possible,” she said.