When Andrew Trenne arrived at Minnesota State University, Mankato his freshman year, he knew wanted to get involved and help the community. His desire to do so eventually led him to MNSU’s student government, where he eventually became student body president.
As he wraps up his term along with the rest of his senior year, Trenne reminisces on the journey he began four years ago that led him to where he is today.
“I came here in the fall of 2017,” he says. “When I first arrived, I immediately became the Residence Hall Association Representative for my residence hall floor.”
In October 2017, Trenne says he was fortunate enough to be elected as a Residential Life Senator. After serving as both an RHA Representative and Residential Life Senator, he then became the RHA President his sophomore year.
“I was lucky to work with such an amazing executive team and accomplished a lot related to the residence halls,” he says. “At the end of my sophomore year, I ran with former Student Body President Anisa Omar as her Vice President on the Empowering Mavericks Party.”
After successfully winning the election, Trenne accomplished many critical issues like college affordability, international healthcare, CCS reform, and more.
“Last April I ran for Student Body President and won,” he says, remembering it like it was yesterday.
Trenne says one of his favorite memories is becoming student body vice president.
“I remember the night the results were announced and a bunch of candidates gathered outside the Student Government office,” he says. “When I found out I won, I immediately called my parents and they were happy. I also remember talking to then-President Anisa Omar and we were so happy and excited.”
Trenne says it feels like the last two years flew by, and that if he could go back in time to relive that moment he would.
“Another memorable moment was during this year’s budget cycle,” he says. “I worked hard with the University and the Reporter to come up with a budget and some policy language attached to the budget to be more fiscally responsible and hopefully end a long-standing problem.”
According to Trenne, after three long days of running around the Centennial Student Union, countless phone calls, emails and meetings, they finalized a solution.
“The next step was to get 31 senators to agree,” he says. “During our budget meeting, the Student (Government) unanimously agreed to it and during the voting, I started crying of joy for getting something so complicated passed.”
Trenne says it helped put a hopeful end to some financial issues and challenges that had not been addressed for almost six years.
According to Trenne, everything he accomplished as president has been memorable and doing it amidst a pandemic contributed to that.
“People always ask me why I would want to be student body president during COVID,” he says. “I always point back and say that this year by far has been more successful in accomplishing our goals as a Student Government.”
Trenne says that a year ago, there was no food pantry on campus, the online differential and course fees were never looked at, and there was no immigration attorney for international students at MNSU.
During his time as Student Body President, all of that changed.
“I could go on about the countless successes I’ve been a part of this year and when I compare them to previous years, it doesn’t even compare,” he says. “So I will take a COVID year over a normal year any day because in the end, I believe we have helped our students to be more successful than previous years.”
Trenne says he acknowledges nothing is perfect, but when he compares this year to years prior, the progress Student Government made speaks for itself.
“That’s something I’m very proud of,” he says.
Trenne is scheduled to graduate this May with a bachelor’s in Political Science. After that, he’ll head to Metropolitan State University to earn a master’s degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership.
Before he leaves, though, he has a few words for the Maverick community.
“I’d first like to say that MNSU is truly a university that puts students first,” he says. “Every administrator and staff person I’ve met is kind, thoughtful and always thinks of the students in every decision.”
According to Trenne, there is always room for improvement, but MNSU doesn’t shy away from it.
“We are an institution that focuses on students, hears student concerns and works to advance our interests,” he says. “I encourage students to get involved, stay engaged and informed and let yourself be heard.”