Student Government president talks about future plans

Vandy Manyeh
Staff Writer

Anisa Omar is the president of the student government at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She leads a team of students that represent the entire student population at the campus, local, state and federal levels.

What should we expect from the student government during this academic year? Omar sat down for a one-on-one interview with The Reporter. Here’s how it went:

VM: Let’s start with a brief introduction for people who don’t know you.

AO: Besides being the president of the student government, I’m a senior student and majoring in political science. 

VM: What’s like being the president of the student government?

AO: It’s still surreal for me. It’s also very exciting. So far, it has been an amazing experience. We’ve started planning projects that we will like to work on. So, students should expect a great year. 

VM: What is the current state of the entire student government?

AO: The current state of the student government is good. We just got through our appointments for coordinators and position chairs. We have all that squared away and figured out. We have some amazing new members who joined and are serving on committees. We still have two positions for graduate students and a residential life position open. We hope to get these positions filled by Wednesday (Sept. 11). Students can apply through “Engage.” We will then hold elections on Sept. 11, at 2:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union (CSU) building. 

VM: What have been some of your achievements since you became the president of the student government?

AO: Last year we started the student basic need committee to improve food and housing security among our students. Working with Student United, I proposed two motions to make as a board objective the need to improve food and housing security. This year, I’m excited to bring the issues surrounding health insurance for international students to the forefront. 

VM: What’s the issue with health insurance for international students?

AO: We’ve had the same company and premiums have been rising. This is an issue that I learned about during the campaign. At MNSU, international students are required to pay the full amount before they can register for classes. We have been looking at the possibility of having the school bring in another insurance company so that students can have another option. Right now, students feel like they are being forced to buy the insurance that we currently have.

VM: What are some of your big projects for this academic year?

AO: I want to address food and housing security and the health insurance issue for international students. We are also going to educate students on the 2020 Census Report. College students, as well as students from other underrepresented groups, are highly underrepresented in the census. Hopefully, in the spring, we will be getting the word out and getting students informed. 

VM: How are these projects going to benefit the students that you represent?

AO: It will help aid the activity life of students, as well as their academic life. It will help students ease into the school year and make things easier. We are working on our advising system here at the college. Right now, we have faculty serving as advisors that students are complaining about. Some students think they don’t have the proper training to serve as advisors. 

VM: What are some problems on campus that you’re trying to fix right now?

AO: We are trying to bring our leaders together. We have main groups like Fraternity and Sorority Life, International Student Association and the Black Student Association; we are all working towards the same goal. We must come together rather than work as separate entities. This is going to make our work easier. I have reached out to the leaders of student organizations and I’m working to see how we as a student government can help them succeed, how they can help us succeed and grow together. 

VM: At most universities, students just don’t get involved with the student government. How are trying to improve that at MNSU?

AO: We are trying to improve tabling events to reach as many students as we possibly can. We are working to start town-hall meetings for our senators. Senators will go to different classrooms and talk to students in different colleges, especially first-year students, on the need to get involved. We are here to represent everyone.

VM: Do you have anything else to say?

AO: It’s going to be an exciting year. We have good members who joined our team. We are excited to achieve all that we set up.

Photo courtesy of Student Government’s Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.