Empowering Mavericks win Student Gov election despite historically low turnout

The Student Government election results are in, with Empowering Mavericks, the only party on the ballot, taking home the majority of the positions. 

Senator Reauna Stiff and Speaker Kara Svercl have been elected to be Student Government president and vice-president posts, respectively. 

The two campaigned on platforms designed to advocate for off-campus students, student basic needs, a diversity platform and more. 

“Reauna and I are very grateful for the student body’s support and are excited to get to work. We are confident in our team and are eager to start going after our campaign promises.” Svercl said in a statement after the election. 

A total of 15 students were elected into senate positions, leaving 16 vacant spots. The Student Government will aim to fill vacancies next semester. 

The election had one of the lowest, if not the lowest, voter turnout in MNSU history, with only 298 students filling out ballots. 

The following are statements issued by several of the elected senators for next year’s Student Government. 

Jack Wheeler, Student Body At-Large

“I am extremely grateful to be returning to Student Government for this upcoming year. We have a great team and I am confident in our abilities to make change at MSU. Some issues I want to address are to continue to make progress on the proposed ‘Greek row,’ establishing the foundations of a law readiness program within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and cheaper parking passes for students.” 

Audrey Hopwood, Residential Life

“My name is Audrey Hopwood and as a black woman I’m a big advocate for wanting equity for people of color on campus. As well as trying to diminish unconscious bias problems amongst hiring processes. To ensure their safe and welcoming experience here. Being elected as Residential Life Senator I’m able to amplify the needs of students who live on campus to make them feel most at home and included.”

Patrick Flynn, Residential Life

“I’m proud to be representing my fellow on-campus students this upcoming year, along with the terrific slate of people elected to various positions within Student Government. 

“Along with the platform I ran as part of with Empowering Mavericks, I am committed to the development of future student leaders, as well as improving experiences of all students at MNSU — particularly those who would be considered non-traditional students.

“Student leadership going forward is of the utmost importance. With the last couple years being rapidly changed by the simultaneous crises we face, specifically here in Minnesota, there are fewer students participating in a traditional on-campus experience. While we may have had a successful election, filling 16 positions within student government, we still have 19 seats that are vacant for next year. This is in addition to the executive vacancies for next year from student groups across campus, such as RHA.

“So, as we move forward, if anybody is still considering taking part in any sort of leadership position, I would highly encourage it. It is a fun way to give back to the Maverick community, and can help you be better prepared for a future beyond school.

“Get involved, look out for one another, and Go Mavs!”

Frank Vondra- elected Senator, College of Arts & Humanities

“I felt the election went rather well, the only political party was unopposed, so they did not have to try very hard. 

“I plan to help oversee the merging of the College of Arts & Humanities with the college of Behavioral sciences. I also have a plan for the Reporter itself that I hope to be able to look into and begin.”

Joseph Novak, Residential Life

“I am extremely happy to be elected and excited to continue working in student government. I also encourage any students reading this to feel free to reach out to me at any time to help influence change.”

Lelti Asgedom, College of Education

The election was kind of stressful and fun at the same time. I was able to gather most of the votes I needed, and I am very grateful that I got elected as the College of Education senator. I am ready to put my plans for change in motion and help the MNSU community move forward.

Colin Hanke, College of Arts & Humanities

“I’m excited to begin working with the entire Empowering Mavericks party to improve college affordability, COVID-19 resources, parking lot reform, diversity/inclusion, and to fight for international students at MNSU. I’m excited to see what the fall brings!”

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