by Jeremy Taff

Election results were an afterthought for Nikki Kubista and Erin Ferguson, as the victorious duo in the Minnesota Student Association elections focused on the racism discussion taking place in Coffman Union.
While their challengers relaxed by the river or waited by the phone Thursday, Kubista and Ferguson had the University YW meeting to occupy their time.
“We have work to do,” Ferguson said. “We’ve got some racism to eliminate.”
When asked if they were nervous, the two denied any feelings of anxiety, although their faithful friend and drag queen Lady Fau Paux said he couldn’t stand the excitement.
But at 6:35 p.m. Thursday the phone rang in the YW Center and Kubista was ready to find out the news. After a few minutes and plenty of questions she took a break from the conversation to holler to Ferguson.
“Hey Erin, we won,” Kubista cried as the group of 14 students broke into a thunder of screams and applause. “We’ll be drinking soon,” she added.
Kubista and Ferguson received 450 from a total of 1,520 votes. The pair’s closest competitors were Kevin Nicholson and Brook Anderson, who pulled in 335 votes.
The new MSA president and vice president secured about 1 percent of eligible student voters.
“I think the low number of voters indicates what Erin and I have to work against next year,” Kubista said. “Most of the people who voted for us probably hadn’t voted before.”
Their campaign centered on talking to students and discussing issues on a daily basis. They also sent boxes full of Ramen noodles signed by students to the Board of Regents to protest potential tuition hikes. They also used Spring Pride, a two-week celebration ofalternative sexual lifestyles, to reach out to prospective voters.
A drag show they sponsored Monday drew more than 400 students, almost the same number of votes the pair received.
Throughout their campaign, Kubista and Ferguson were open about their sexuality and stressed diversity as a core tenet.
“The woman at Subway was really happy for us. She’s gay,” Ferguson said as she ate a six-inch sub at Kubista’s apartment. That’s where the pair gathered with friends to celebrate late Thursday evening.
“There has never been two lesbians elected,” Kubista said. “We will stand hard against racism and sexism.”
Kubista and Ferguson won because they stood for things they believed in, said Natala Menezes, who worked on their campaign.
Kubista has interned at the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. Ferguson is active with different civil rights coalitions, the Youth in AIDS program and the University Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.
The two said the first issue they will focus on will be keeping tuition hikes at no more than 2.5 percent.
“We’re looking forward to hooking up with President Yudof,” Kubista said. “It would be great to have weekly meetings with him.”
Other issues the new electees will try to address include making students feel more connected with student government and establishing closer ties with the Board of Regents and the administration. They said they hope strengthened relationships will help them accomplish change for students.
With “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” blaring in the background, Menezes said the winning formula was simple, “The issues won over sensationalism.”