One MSA victor, many deserving platforms

With the Minnesota Student Association elections over, the only remnants of this year’s campaign are sidewalk chalk and the new administration leading MSA into the next school year. With the election of Matt Clark and Rachel Boeke, the 10 percent of the students who voted have spoken. Clark and Boeke’s overwhelming 2-to-1 victory over the closest runners-up clearly shows that their message resonated well with the voters. They must now begin the process of making alliances and building relationships with the new members of the Forum to begin implementing their platform. They should avoid, however, quickly dismissing the platforms of their opponents. Each pair of candidates ran with some very legitimate agendas and issues that should not be overlooked. It would be wise of Clark and Boeke — and beneficial to the campus community as a whole — to consider incorporating parts of their opponents’ agendas with their own. Not only would it draw in supporters of other campaigns, but it would also set a good tone for the political climate of the Forum for the upcoming year.
For example, Clark and Boeke should consider MSA Days, the best idea to emerge from the Taken and Street campaign. While the turnout was about as high as last year, 10 percent is still pathetically low on such a large campus. There is a very apathetic core of students that Clark and Boeke need to make serious attempts to reach. While Clark and Boeke clearly have a broad base of support from those who are involved, being out on the campus with other members of the Forum and really talking with people can only increase support among students for MSA.
Another good idea Clark and Boeke should seriously consider was originally a proposal of Tatting and Olin. Their aspiration to improve students’ access to information about housing conditions around campus via a Web site, as well as histories of landlords, is something many students would benefit from. Such a Web site would be something that would fit well into Clark and Boeke’s platform. Setting up and maintaining the Web site would require a lot of effort and research, but it would certainly be something that could truly empower the students, especially considering the University’s current housing crunch.
With safety issues in mind, Rorvig and Post also introduced important issues. Their desire to see more emergency telephones would be a good way to improve security and promote safety on campus.
The issues listed above all fit nicely into the general nine-point platform that Clark and Boeke presented. If they combined those issues with their own, the result would be an even stronger platform and could perhaps convince the strong core of people who voted for the two ‘abolish MSA’ platforms that MSA can be effective. MSA — although built on student senators and at-large representatives — really only works when there are strong leaders at the helm. Next year will hopefully be filled with action and activity. Clark and Boeke have shown that they have the ideas, vision and ability to lead. They must now, however, develop student interest in MSA to realize their potential.