Few file for MSA posts

JP Leider

Filing closed for this year’s all-campus election Friday, with results showing moderate interest in student-government positions compared with years past.

While 26 students applied for 16 at-large positions for the Minnesota Student Association, only two tickets were filed for MSA president/vice president.

The candidates are Max Page/Monica Heth and Anthony Dew/Jeff Tate for president and vice president, respectively.

Last year, five tickets ran for president/vice president, the year before saw seven tickets and this year fewer students filed for University Senate than there were available positions.

While the number of presidential candidates is less than in the past, the election could prove noteworthy, said Margaret Cahill, adviser to All-Campus Election Commission and the MSA.

“One thing that’s going to be interesting is that when we’ve had more tickets, usually we have a couple anti-MSA tickets, and people just running for the heck of it,” she said. “It will be interesting to see this year because we have two extremely strong tickets.”

She said students should expect to see campaigns emerge in the coming weeks in preparation for all-campus elections April 11 and April 12.

To be on the ballot presidential candidates need to gather 450 student signatures by Friday.

The first week of April will see presidential and vice presidential debates.

MSA Vice President Colin Schwensohn said becoming informed is extremely important for students interested in voting.

“If you are going to take the election seriously, you’ve got to look closely at the candidates. You have to read everything there is to know about them,” he said. “I know it’s a lot of work, and for an apathetic student body, it may be too much to ask.”

However, Schwensohn said, students should figure out what the candidates are “really saying” about the issues, like a possible on-campus stadium, strategic positioning or tuition issues.

Presidential candidates
Anthony Dew and Jeff Tat
Dew, an at-large Forum member and former committee chairman, said his campaign will focus on three issues: safer and more affordable housing, better transportation options and what he calls the minority experience.

“Jeff and I feel like the minority experience can be improved on campus,” he said. “There needs to be more dialogue regarding minority issues.”

Dew, a political science senior, said these issues include ethnic, racial and religious diversity.

He said tuition is also an “obvious” issue, and that he thinks tuition is increasing by “crazy amounts.”

“It’s rising faster than inflation and housing, and if it keeps going at that rate, it’s going to cut off access to more and more people,” he said. “It’s going to hurt Minnesota kids, Wisconsin kids, minorities and the underprivileged. We feel like we need to make a commitment to access. Fighting for more funding is a big part of campaign.”

Max Page and Monica Heth
Page, an individualized studies junior and University DFL president, said his ticket wants to see MSA be action-oriented in all areas.

“We want there to be very little to do that’s just symbolic,” he said.

Page, MSA DEF Grants chairman, said his campaign will focus on the cost of textbooks, cost of tuition and fees reform, in addition to lesser issues.

“We’ve already got a laundry list of smaller things we’d like to work on that would make MSA visible to the student body and be helpful to Forum,” he said. “We’d like to empower the students in our group to work on those ideas, or if they have ideas of their own, and we’d like to be resources for them.”

Page said they will be quite busy the next couple of weeks.

“In general, we are going to be working our butts off,” he said. “In the weeks leading up to the election, we will be door-knocking, talking to student groups and just getting our name out there.”