New and returning members of Forum elected the next executive board for the Minnesota Student Association on Tuesday at a special meeting.
Members chose five University DFL-endorsed students for nine available positions. Seven of the nine positions went to candidates who ran unopposed.
Members of the new executive board take office July 1.
Incoming MSA President Max Page addressed members during the special session about the upcoming year.
Page urged Forum members to approach the year with “humility, modesty and determination,” and with respect for fellow Forum members.
Members will make mistakes, “and that’s all right,” Page said.
“Each of us is just one person who is not perfect,” he said. “On the same token, each of you is one person who can make a huge difference.”
While representatives expressed interest in almost every executive board position, none were nominated to become MSA’s next speaker, leaving Speaker of Forum Kevin Wendt in the position.
Wendt has served as speaker since 2004, and plans to graduate next fall.
It’s difficult to know how a new executive board will perform, he said.
Several newly elected members of the executive board are new to MSA as well.
That shouldn’t be discouraging, Wendt said.
MSA has had several “fantastic” executive board members who hadn’t been in MSA before, he said.
Wendt said he doesn’t expect the number of U-DFL-endorsed board members will change the executive board in the upcoming year.
This year, Wendt said, all members who originally were elected to executive board were U-DFL-endorsed except him.
Wendt said he didn’t think the organization acted in a partisan fashion this year.
“I definitely saw a (political) leaning in the positions we put forward to Forum,” he said.
However, the executive board was good about dealing with issues as student issues and not partisan ones, he said.
Page, outgoing U-DFL president, said he doesn’t think it will be difficult to keep U-DFL’s agenda separate from MSA’s.
“The issues that (MSA Vice President) Monica (Heth) and I laid out are issues that matter to all students, regardless of their political identification,” he said.
None of those issues are strictly partisan, Page said.
“There will be more than enough stuff to keep us busy without diluting the system with political hackery,” he said.
Nathan Wanderman, next year’s ranking student representative to the Board of Regents, said MSA will continue to focus on creating a shared governance system at the University.
“What we want is a regents policy that codifies the idea of shared governance – that students need to have a say in all decisions at the University that relate to students,” he said.
The idea needs to be presented to the regents informally, he said, and when everybody is on the same page, the next step would be to draft the actual policy “with the hope that before the end of next year the regents can vote on it.”