The Minnesota Daily Voter’s Guide: presidential and vice-presidential candidates

Sabeen Altaf and Michael Hsu

Altaf and Hsu want to improve the accountability and the credibility of the student association by achieving goals that affect the student body directly.
“What makes it different for us is that we have an actual set of mechanisms we want to put in place,” Altaf said.
One way to improve MSA’s reputation, Altaf said, is to print a review of the organization each year.
The candidates want to focus on improving convenience for students by creating e-mail kiosks in Coffman Union. Other ideas include improving food service by ensuring both quality and convenience.
Altaf, a College of Liberal Arts junior, has been involved in the student association for more than a year, and has been a member of the Student Service Fees Committee. Hsu, an Institute of Technology junior, was the co-founder of the campus magazine Speak. He has experience as a Territorial Hall council representative and as vice president of finance for the Interfraternity Council.
The duo is endorsed by Students Against Fees Excess. Students want low student fees, and MSA should work for this along with ensuring fiscally responsible student organizations, Altaf said.

Nikki Kubista and Erin Ferguson

The Kubista and Ferguson ticket has an agenda extending from three main points: accessibility, affordability and diversity.
They feel the student association has the power to address these issues and improve them.
But to make the University better for its students, Kubista said MSA must approach the problems from an entirely different angle than in the past.
The approach is grassroots activism.
“It is not just a buzzword, and our history represents that,” Kubista said.
Kubista, a CLA senior, has interned at both the White House and the U.S. House of Representatives. She is also an Evans Scholar and active in University-YW.
Ferguson, a junior in individualized studies, has worked with different civil rights coalitions, the Youth in AIDS program and the University Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity. She works in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs Office in addition to being an activist for gay and lesbian issues.
Kubista and Ferguson want to encourage MSA to seek out students and mobilize them by signing petitions, organizing rallies or hosting informational sessions.
The candidates said the issues they want to address besides lowering tuition are strengthening coalitions and diversity around campus.
“It’s really about looking at a problem and creating something different than has been done before,” Kubista said.
Adam Miller and Jill Sanders

Seeking the top two offices for the student association for Miller and Sanders is not about building a resume, or political power, Miller said. Instead, the pair is concerned about students and their issues.
To see results at a higher legislative level, Miller and Sanders want to create a branch of the statewide Student Legislative Coalition to address issues surrounding the Twin Cities campus. The new subsidiary to the coalition would deal with problems unique to the University campus.
The candidates want to expand MSA beyond that of strictly a student government into a resource tool and communication center for other student organizations.
Other issues on the Miller and Sander’s agenda include establishing a student tenure review committee, improving parking and transportation, and implementing an Internet Cafe in Coffman Union.
Miller, a Carlson School of Management junior, has been a member of the forum for two years and has experience as a member of Middlebrook Hall council.
Sanders, a College of Liberal Arts senior, is president of the Asian-American Student Cultural Center and a member of the MSA Forum.
The candidates are endorsed by both the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils as well as The Minnesota Daily Editorial Board.

Kevin Nicholson and Brook Anderson

The mission of Nicholson and Anderson is to get the student body involved.
Nicholson said he picks issues that students care about. He wants to see students work on projects such as planning for the renovation of Coffman Union and the semester conversion process.
Student involvement to Anderson means reaching out and ensuring that students feel their voices are being adequately represented. This means MSA would need to talk more with students to find out their issues, Anderson said.
Nicholson and Anderson said in order to see results on issues such as neighborhood safety, their administration would organize weekly forums where students would have the opportunity to converse with local legislators.
To decrease the infighting that exists within the association, Nicholson said he would like to see a judicial branch in the student association handle problems.
Nicholson, a CLA sophomore, served as the chairman for both the student Senate Consultative Committee and the Student Service Fees Committee. He has experience in MSA forum and on the association’s executive committee.
Anderson, a CLA sophomore, is a member of Alpha Phi sorority, and has served as the chapter’s director of campus activities. Currently, she is the vice president of marketing for the Panhellenic council, and has experience in fund-raising.