As the 89th Student Government’s tenure comes to a close, the question arises as to who will assume the president, vice-president and senate seats.
Emma Zellmer announced her candidacy for Student Government President last week, along with her running mate Idman Ibrahim for Vice President.
For the second year in a row, the presidential race will be uncontested, meaning there will only be one name on the ballot to vote for.
The two have a platform with several priorities, including increased student consultation, accessibility, and parking.
“I have been very involved in student government, not only at the campus level but also at the system level,” said Zellmer, who has spent the last year serving as the State Chair of Students United, a nonprofit that represents students from all of the Minnesota State System Universities. “After working at the system level, I realized how much I really missed working for students on my specific campus.”
Prior to Zellmer’s involvement with Students United, she served as a senator at MSU. She held the position of speaker for the Student Government for a year as well.
Ibrahim hopes to complement Zellmer’s experience with fresh ideas, as she has functioned as a student leader separate from the Student Government.
“I feel like I will be bringing more ideas and perspectives to the Student Government,” said Ibrahim, “I have experience advocating for students that look like me specifically.”
Ibrahim hopes to bring an added perspective of a first-generation student.
“First-generation students can struggle to find resources on campus,” said Ibrahim. “I started running because I wanted to make a change on that.”
In order to increase the weight of student voices, the party hopes to form a new council made up of several student leaders.
“One thing we hope to establish is a leadership council,” said Zellmer. “This is to ensure that we aren’t working on a project that students don’t actually want to see. We want to make sure that the largest number of student voices are able to be involved in every decision.”
Another platform they hope to address is advocating for increased accessibility on campus, citing recent concerns on campus, as well as ensuring future plans at the University.
“That means, in the residence halls, if there is a fire drill that we are able to get everyone out,” said Zellmer.
The party also hopes to address the parking issue on campus by creating a fee for all students in order to create a larger free lot.
“More people are going to need transportation to campus, and more people are going to need the free lot,” said Zellmer, “this is an equity issue.”
Zellmer and Ibrahim are running with the party called “Empowering Mavericks,” which includes more than 20 senators who will be running under the same platform.
Parties — when it comes to Student Government elections — are a collective of a president, vice president and senate candidates who agree to support a specified platform. Often, party names remain consistent from year to year. Platforms can change, however, depending on the candidates.
The election will be held on April 11 and 12 and will be open to all students at mnsu.edu/voting.
Zellmer and Ibrahim referred to the unique point in time, as students are coming out of a pandemic and back to in-person classes.
“We are coming back not to a new normal, but a better normal,” said Zellmer.
Header Photo: Student Government candidacy has been announced, Idman Ibrahim running for Vice President (left) and Emma Zellmer running for President. Their party Empowering Mavericks will run uncontested. (Dylan Long/The Reporter)
Write to Maxwell Mayleben at Maxwell.Mayleben@mnsu.edu