Eshmawy, Rusch emphasize affordable housing, tuition

Robyn Repya

Most candidates for the Minnesota Student Association’s presidency and vice presidency are posting signs and chalking sidewalks to get students’ attention before next week’s election.

But one of this year’s presidential candidates, Emie Eshmawy – a political science and global studies junior – has painted her car and been driving around campus honking and flashing her lights.

“Our goal is to be obnoxious,” she said.

Eshmawy said she hopes the effort will encourage more students to vote in the MSA elections.

Both Eshmawy and her running mate, Anna Rusch, an English and mass communications junior, said they hope to improve student awareness about MSA.

“A lot of students on campus, when you say MSA, don’t know what it is,” Rusch said.

In order to increase student involvement, Eshmawy and Rusch said they want to add a clause in the MSA constitution to provide an application allowing any student group MSA representation.

“With the application, you’d get people who want to be there, not people who are just there because it’s good for their resume,” Rusch said.

Eshmawy and Rusch also said they have been working to improve affordable housing for students.

Eshmawy said they have already met with Ward 2 City Council member Paul Zerby, who represents most of the University area. They spoke with him about building inspections to ensure students aren’t living in poor conditions.

“So we’re at least holding landlords accountable for the rent students are paying,” Rusch said.

Eshmawy and Rusch said they are also concentrating on the possibility of the Board of Regents raising the standard for full-time student status from 12 to 13 credits.

Eshmawy said raising the minimum credit load is unfair to students because it makes life more difficult for those with jobs.

“If you’re going to raise tuition, students will have to work more; it’s a given,” Eshmawy said.

She said because so many students have to work and attend school, it is also important for them to have adequate access to library resources and computers.

Eshmawy said they are going to work for more computer labs on campus and on keeping the computer labs and libraries open 24 hours per day to accommodate students’ schedules.

Aside from working on various campus issues, they said, they could best represent the student body because of their cultural diversity.

Eshmawy, who is Egyptian, said there are many people on campus who, like her, aren’t native English speakers. She said those students need representation.

“When I think of the University, I think of people from different backgrounds, from all over,” she said.

More information on these candidates can be found on their Web site: www.eshmawyrusch.com.