It was a hotly-contested election for the students to select who they wanted representing them for the 84th Minnesota State Student Association. Eventually, the Maverick Family Movement was the one who emerged victorious in the election that was held April 12.
All senators who were elected and president-elect Faical Rayani and Vice president-elect Maria Ruiz were inaugurated April 20 at a ceremony at the Hearth Lounge. Recently, the newly-minted president and vice president sat down and answered a few questions about their goals moving forward for Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2016-17.
Reporter: What do you hope to do in the next year?
Faical Rayani: That’s a big question. There’s a lot of stuff that we want to do. Basically, everything we set our platform we want to do. But, most of all we want to have a productive senate, where people aren’t afraid to express their opinions and things can get done a lot faster than they did in the past.
Maria Ruiz: Yeah, I agree that we want to make sure that our senate is productive. We want to make sure that everyone in the senate has the opportunity to work on the issues that they want to work on and we want to collaborate too. So, not just the idea we had on our platform and other ideas that other people had. We want to make sure we want to implement those too.
Reporter: Do you feel like the students made the right choice in choosing you?
Rayani: Absolutely. I think the people that voted for me and know that I will make the right decisions on their behalf. I’m not going to lie, I’m probably going to screw up once or twice just because it’s inevitable. I’m confident that everyone made the right call because otherwise I wouldn’t have ran in the first place.
Ruiz: I think that they made the right decision in choosing me. I believe that I’ve been working really hard for the past three years to prepare myself. I definitely think Faical and I will be doing the best that we can. This is a new experience for the both of us. I’m very confident that both of us will do a great job.
Reporter: Are you ready to accomplish your goals?
Rayani: I’d say yes, because to me being ready is just having the willingness to go ahead and do the things that you need to do. There’s a lot of things for me and Maria to learn because this is our first term as president and vice president but we’re definitely willing to learn it. We’re here all summer; we have a lot of projects for the summer itself even.
Ruiz: Yes, one of the reasons why I decided to run with Faical is because he’s very committed and very passionate to help the students. I think that we have that willingness to learn the things that we don’t know and we also have the experience of the things we’ve been working on. For us deciding to run, it took a long time to decide and I think it was because we wanted to be sure and be prepared for this. I definitely think that we will be able to accomplish what we have set.
Reporter: Are you willing and able to be the voice of all the students?
Rayani: This an interesting question. The first day I got elected, I started thinking “Does every word I say represent 16,000 students of Minnesota State University, Mankato?” ‘Does that mean if I say a fart joke that 16,000 students said a fart joke?’ The answer is no, it doesn’t work like that. I’m confident that I can represent the school’s best interests and the best interests of each student.
Ruiz: Yes, I have a very unique experience. I did high school here. I was born and raised in Mexico, but because I did high school here I was considered a domestic student. So I have experience moving to a different country, not knowing anyone, even speaking the language. Then, for my first two years I was working for Institutional Diversity, and on my third year, I joined the International Student Association. So, I was working with more international students. I’m also a Community Advisor. So I think that I have that perspective from being both an international and domestic student. I’m a diverse student, but I also have been working with domestic students. I think that I will be able to represent the voice and concerns of pretty much everyone.
Reporter: Is there anything you wish to add?
Rayani: Absolutely. I just want to thank each and every single person who voted this election. Thank you for the best turnout we’ve had in many years for the MSSA elections. Thanks for voting for me. Thanks for voting for Maria. Thanks for voting for every single person that’s on senate. I can tell you right now this senate is the best MNSU has ever seen, and I encourage you to reach out to your senators. You can find them at mnsu.edu/mssa. We’re here for you. We are your (expletive).
Ruiz: I’d like to make sure that all students know that we are here for them. MSSA is not just a bunch of people that meet on Wednesdays. We want to make sure that they know that we are here for them. Also, feel free to reach out to us.
The first meeting of the 84th Minnesota State Student Association will take place this Wednesday at 4 p.m. They’ll elect the speaker, a non-voting member who will run the meetings from there on. The 83rd’s speaker was Jessica Farah, a graduate international student from Lebanon.