MSA looks to boost presence, name recognition on campus

JP Leider

To increase name recognition and mend misconceptions about the Minnesota Student Association, the MSA Campus Relations Committee will reach out to the campus community next week, said Kelly Kubacki, campus relations chairwoman.

During finals week, MSA will offer students cookies and hot chocolate, most likely from its office.

“The only talk you really hear about MSA is that we’re ineffective and that we don’t do anything,” she said. “So even doing little things like this, (we’re) showing that we do try to reach out to students and connect with them, and try to show them we’re students too.”

Kubacki said some people believe MSA is made up of “stuffy, elitist people who don’t actually relate to campus.”

She said that belief is a misconception, citing MSA members’ involvement in many areas of the University.

To increase MSA’s name recognition, Kubacki said, her committee will offer a slogan-creating contest to the marketing department in the Carlson School of Management.

“During our first committee meetings of the semester, we talked about how we wanted to get MSA’s name out there more and make it more student-friendly and have people understand who we are and what we do,” she said.

She said making MSA more student-friendly is important come election time.

“We’ve had really low turnouts, and we find that really unacceptable for our organization,” she said.

Biology junior Preeya Patel said she’s heard about MSA only while registering, but would like to know what it does.

“If they’re affecting major decisions at the “U,’ it’d be good to know what they do and how you can influence them, since they’re your representatives,” she said.

Even though MSA’s headquarters is in Coffman Union, Patel said, it probably should utilize booths more, since people probably won’t walk into its office to find out what’s going on.

MSA President Emily Serafy Cox said the organization has been taking more public positions on important campus issues and getting more knowledge about those issues out.

“For me, it’s not so much about getting (MSA’s) name out, not about name recognition, as it is about the issues, because that ultimately is what we’re here for,” she said.

Serafy Cox said she wants to keep engaging MSA in public discussion about issues on campus.

“The more that we engage in the issues happening on campus, the more people will pay attention to us ” as a place where the discussion is happening,” she said.