MSA 2003 Election Guide

These are the Minnesota Student Association presidential candidates for all-campus elections this Wednesday and Thursday. Students can vote online between 12 a.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday at www.umn.edu/vote.

The Questions
1. What are your objectives for MSA?
2. How do you plan to accomplish them?
3. What would you bring to the table that the other candidates don’t have?
4. What is the role of MSA in determining student policy?
5. What would you say to people who think MSA is ineffective?

Marty Andrade
Psychology
junior
Joe Dunsmore
Physics
junior
1. We want to get rid of fees for student groups – mandatory, that is – and MSA. That’s pretty much the key: an end to the group.

2. When we’re supposed to do something like appoint fees selectors, we can simply refuse to appoint anyone. When we’re supposed to start a meeting, we can simply refuse to start it. We want to fire all the administrators, fire all the paid staff and close down the office. For the fees selectors, we could simply appoint our cronies to those positions, so we know they will give them no money.

3. A complete disrespect for MSA and everything it stands for.

4. Thus far, the role of MSA has been to screw over students. MSA shouldn’t have a role; it shouldn’t exist. The only people that are going to go there are people who want power and attention. We’re trying to eliminate it altogether.

5. Yes. Vote for us. You’re right. As a person that has been in MSA, I say yes, absolutely, you are completely 100 percent right.

Ryan Johnson
Poli sci & history
junior
Ben Behrendt
CLA
sophomore
1. The number one priority is a late-night bus. Campus safety in general – we want to work to get better lighting both on campus and off. Keeping tuition down is a big issue. We want the Greek and University communities to sit down and write a joint statement to alleviate tension.

2. We want to build and foster relationships with people in the University, people in the Legislature, people in student groups and regular students. With tuition, we’ll lobby and have conversations with the Legislature and administration. We’ll work with surrounding neighborhoods to make sure students are represented in neighborhood organizations.

3. We both bring an outside perspective. Neither Ben nor I have been in MSA. We get kind of a different view of where we can improve.

4. MSA has a leadership role, as far as organizing students. It’s also responsible to students. MSA should be there for students to go up to and say what is important to them, and then MSA has to translate that into action.

5. Look at what it has done in the past and look at its potential. It needs fresh new leadership to bring it to the next level.

Eric Dyer
Finance & economics
junior
Gina Nelson
Political science
senior
1. We want to continue working with alumni and the president’s office on the possibility of building a Gophers-only stadium. We also want a cap on current parking rates to ease the burden for commuter students.

2. We’re working with graduate and undergraduate students to get a voice from them and working through the administration. We want to get student support on issues that affect all students.

3. Experience and knowledge. I’ve (Dyer) been vice president of MSA for a year, and if I were to drop it right now, it would be my personal loss to students. I’ve (Nelson) been involved in MSA for two years, and a student rep to regents.

4. As a rep, I (Nelson) brought concerns to the regents from MSA. Students don’t realize that the regents and the administration do hear student concerns, and MSA is there to provide feedback.

5. If you feel like something needs to be fixed, you have two choices: You can complain about it and try and fix it, or you can walk away from it, but then you can’t complain. Change at the University takes a lot of time. It’s not going to happen overnight. Issues get picked up and dropped with each new student government. We want to keep some consistency.

Andy Pomroy
Political science
junior
Annie Davidson
Political science
junior
1. We want to continue what MSA is currently doing – establishing a late-night bus and a declining UDS balance. We want to make sure our voice is heard at the capital so we don’t see any more double-digit tuition increases. We want to put a stop to large-scale, expensive housing projects and bring affordable housing to campus.

2. Using our experience organizing to organize and motivate students to make their voices heard. If you can organize a thousand students to go to the capital, it will be a lot more effective.

3. I’ve (Pomroy) been in MSA for three years – I know how things work within MSA, within the administration, and within other organizations around the U. Annie brings a fresh face – we’re the balanced ticket.

4. It’s definitely one we struggle with in MSA. I wish it had a lot more clout than it does. We want to be able to have an impact by getting more students on board – that will give us more legitimacy.

5. We want to make MSA a legitimate, respected political body on campus. We want to let students know that they are represented.

Micah Johnson
Journalism
junior
Eric Hung
Chem eng & pre-pharm
junior
1. We’d like to make it so you can charge books to your student account. We’d like a declining balance system for UDS. We’d like a committee on student opinion, and more late-night programming to support a late-night bus.

2. I’m (Johnson) chair of the MSA Academics and Services committee – we’ve been working on the option of charging books to your student account. A committee on student opinion will create dialogue between the students and the University.

3. We’re trying to be personable. We want people to remember who they elected. Also, as minorities, we represent minority groups on campus and see issues that aren’t always brought up.

4. MSA should be a nonpartisan group that wants to change administration and city policy to benefit students. MSA has struggled with that in the past few years. When administration works with our student opinion committee, the administration will have facts about what students care about.

5. With visibility, yes we’re ineffective. With commuter students, yes, we’re ineffective. MSA has been too focused on campus life. It’s more important that people understand how the system works. If the students see something they want changed, they should ask. Half of the ineffectiveness of MSA has been student apathy, and that is something both MSA and the students have to work on.