Presidential Profiles

Abdul-Aziz

Party:
Mavericks Empowering Mavericks

Year in School:
Sophomore

Major:
Political science / Minor: Sociology

Experience:
At-Large Residence Community Senator: August 2015 – Present, Chair of Ethics & Standards: August 2015 – May 2016, NRHH: March 2016 – Present, STLF: March 2016 – Present, Student Affairs Coordinator: August 2016 – Present
Community Advisor: August 2016 – Present

Why are you running for president?
I am running for MSSA President because I believe that the senate needs to change the way it interacts with students, and with it change how we addresses concerns. I want to help create more inclusive and diverse campus where all student feel welcomed and that they can pursue their endeavor. I believe that MSU has a unique atmosphere where students can be active in all they want to achieve. I have been on the senate for two years, chaired two committees, and have served on the MSSA president’s cabinet. With these experiences, I have the needed qualifications to affect positive change on our campus. I also have the vision, drive and passion to make being MSSA President my top priority, and I believe that I am the best suited to serve our diverse student body.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for president?
I believe that I will bring a unique blend of new leadership and fresh ideas to implement. I’ve been involved with senate for the past two years, and have chaired the ethics and standards committee and the student affairs committee, as well as serving on the MSSA presidents cabinets. I am also heavily involved in on campus RSO’s and groups, which gives me perspectives from outside the student government as well. In addition to being a Community advisor this year, I have also been on two pay it forward tours through Students Today Leaders Forever, which has given me unique experiences with and a passion for serving others.

What do you see as being the top issues facing MSU students?

I believe that there isn’t one specific issue that MSU students are facing. Student’s issues range from the broad topics of academic advising, dietary needs, student costs and fees, as well as individual questions that arise on a case-by-case basis with RSO’s and student involvement. As student body president I will be responsible for addressing all issues and seeing the bigger picture, so I have taken care not to become over-involved in any one specific issue. I believe that by taking a step back even from issues close to my own heart, I am able to better see the many perspectives on the issues facing our students today.

If elected, what do you and your party hope to accomplish?
Maverick Empowering Mavericks want to change the culture of how the student government operates and interact with students. Increasing communication and interaction between the student body and the senate itself benefits both sides. I believe that it is crucial that if the student senate wants to be a voice for students, the students must be listened to and heard. Along with this we hope to accomplish initiatives in the area of personalized advising, increased communication between a variety of student groups, promote the services the MSSA provides, and expanding on services that benefits all students. Our top goal is to establish a town hall Tuesday, where the senate would update the students on what is being worked on and listen to the concerns for their constituents. Furthermore we want to team up with varies student groups and host events to promote communication and interaction with MSSA. As well as getting students information they need to know about how to access financial aid and scholarships.

What is one important element that sets you and your party apart from your competitor?
We promise to support our students in their academic and personal endeavors. Our party believes in and has established concrete plans in fixing the gap between the student body and the student government, as well as promoting the services that MSSA provides for students. Furthermore, we intend to spread awareness of MSSA for students to join the committees and or senate itself. One important element that sets our party apart from our opponents is the variety of experiences and ideas we have as a party. We have thirteen candidates that have been previous senators and fifteen candidates with no prior senate experience. Our membership includes Greeks, international students, graduate students, students of color, members of the LGBTQAIP+ community, and first generation college students. We believe that it is important to have a diverse senate so all perspectives are taking into consideration, and that all voices are listened to and heard. Our unique mixture of diverse representation and varying experience truly makes us the most qualified and best fit party to be a voice for the students of MSU.

—–

Fred de Ruiter

Party:
Support Our Students

Year in School:
Senior

Major:
Mathematics

Experience:
College of Science Engineering and Technology Senator (2013 – 2015), Residential Life Senator (2015-2016), Residence Hall Association Vice-President (2014-2015), Residence Hall Association President (2015-2016), Student Affairs Coordinator (2015-2016), and Student Senate Speaker (2016-2017)

Why are you running for president?
I’m running for president for two reasons: To help our Maverick and to advocate on certain issues. I have seen the MSU community over my years in Mankato and see that some Mavericks need some help. Some Mavericks need help getting to school. Some Mavericks need help signing up for classes. Some Mavericks need a group that they identify with, and all Mavericks need access to an affordable education. As MSSA president, I will fight to Support our Students in the aforementioned and much more.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for president?
I do not like the term ‘qualified’ here. I feel like that term asks if you meet certain basic criteria. If you satisfy that criteria then both candidates are equally qualified. If this question asked what makes you the most ‘experienced’ candidate, I would point to my vast involvement with MSSA over the past four years along with holding leadership roles in the Residence Hall Association. If this question asked about what makes you most ‘ambitious’ candidate for president then I would point to the initiatives I’ve lead while Residence Hall Association such as Free Menstrual Hygiene products, two ply toilet paper in the Restrooms, and fresh fruit in the dining hall. We are equally qualified, but not matched in experience or ambition.

What do you see as being the top issues facing MSU students?
Getting to school is the number one issue facing MSU students. We have a fantastic that has tripled ridership in the past few years, and we are the only Minnesota State institution that has a ‘Free Lot’. However, despite having these great things, I hear constant complaints about the buses begin overcrowded, or people having trouble finding a spot to park. These services are extremely successful; we should invest more resources into these programs that are exceeding expectation to better face these needs of MSU students.

If elected, what do you and your party hope to accomplish?

The ‘Support Our Students’ party hopes to foster communication between Students and Student Senate by hosting weekly forums/events in which Students can come and talk casually with their student senators. To get students to come to this event, we are investigating the possibility on having free access to the bullpen every Friday evenings. This would provide an alcohol free Friday evening activity while simultaneously acting as a great way for the Student Senators to get to know some of their constituents on their own time.

We also will strongly advocate for keeping the Free Lot Free. An overwhelming number of students support the free lot and we intend to support what the students want.

The bus service’s ridership has increased drastically since the implementation of the green transportation fee. Support Our Students Party wants to continue this drastic increase to continue by expanding the green transportation fee to incorporate more routes, possibly even developing Sunday routes.

What is one important element that sets you and your party apart from your competitor?
The ‘Support Our Students’ Party is dedicated to supporting students: not our wallets. We pledge that if elected; refuse the stipends with the intention of the money going back to students or for programming.

I do not believe that this should be something that sets the presidents apart, so I challenge my opponent to do the same and pledge to refuse the presidential salary.

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