Bowman,Clark win MSA election

Rebecca Czaplewski

When the call came in Thursday night for Ben Bowman that he and running mate Matt Clark grabbed the executive spots in the Minnesota Student Association, he was just as happy for his victory as he was about the number of the voter turnout.
“It’s great that this many people voted this time — it’s really impressive,” Bowman said. “I just really feel good.”
The pair led the four other presidential tickets with 1,008 votes. Brett Rowlett and Irene Kao came in second place, trailing behind with 850 votes.
The total number of student voters at the University was 3,066; the highest tally in 12 years.
Bowman and Clark, both sophomores in the Carlson School of Management, got news of their victory in Bowman’s Dinkytown apartment.
Although Clark couldn’t get out of a speech class to be there for the 7:35 p.m. phone call, he rushed home after class to get the news.
“Holy cow,” Clark said after looking at the number of votes. “Well, we were fighting student apathy for once.”
Although Bowman said he was only 50 percent confident they would win, the pair both thought it was their personal campaigning to the students that made the difference.
“We talked a lot to the people in person,” Clark said. “We worked hard to get the students to vote.”
The two also credited their victory to a campaign Web site and personal e-mails.
The pair will be sworn in as the new president and vice president of MSA on May 15, succeeding Nikki Kubista and Erin Ferguson.
One of the primary goals the pair say they will start their presidential reign with is getting a 10th Avenue Bridge Circulator bus route.
They plan to rent a bus during their first few weeks of presidency to prove that the route is needed.
“If there’s the demand in May, then just think of the demand in January,” Bowman said.
The two also want to begin planning on a board of governors for University Bookstores.
Although candidates Jared Christiansen and Matt Hass, who campaigned to dissolve MSA, may have only came in third place, Bowman said their total number of votes sends a loud message.
“It shows that a group of students need to be proven to that we get results,” Bowman said.
Sam Tuttle, MSA member and friend of Bowman’s, arrived at Bowman’s apartment just after he got the call.
She was happy for the pair and was glad the new student association president had experience in the organization. Bowman is the current MSA speaker.
“I think it really helps,” Tuttle said. “It gets a lot of that initial struggle out of the way.”
Although Bowman and Clark have acknowledged many of their goals have been presented by past presidents, they insist their agenda was made up of more than just campaign pipe dreams.
“We’ll do our best to keep our promises,” Bowman said. “We’re gonna be stubborn.”