The Minnesota Student Association, the undergraduate student government at the University of Minnesota, works on a multitude of issues each year. Various committees within MSA are managed by the administrative leaders of the body. Leaders work diligently, advocating for students to University officials, state and national legislators and representing students nationally at various conferences. To address the complexity and the multifaceted nature of leadership within the group, the president and vice president of MSA must demonstrate critical knowledge of how the many components of the University function, and must present a detailed vision that charts a path forward to improve the quality of education and the student experience of the students at our University. Starting on March 5 and ending March 7, University undergraduate students will have a chance to elect new leadership to MSA. We believe that Simran Mishra and Mina Kian have the strongest qualifications to lead the University’s student body for the next year as president and vice president of MSA.
In order to navigate the complex infrastructure of the University bureaucracy, any president or vice president must have the necessary relationships and knowledge to turn policy suggestions into actions. Mishra and Kian have not only been distinguished and recognized members of MSA for years, but have been effective leaders in the organization, including chairing various committees and facilitating dialogue with administration. Having already established these relationships makes Mishra and Kian’s vision far more achievable, as there will be a smaller learning curve. Key components of their vision include working toward a self-operated dining service for the University, expanding recycling options on and off campus and pushing toward conversations about renaming other buildings besides Coffman Union.
Dobbs DeCorsey and Larranz Guider are the second and only other ticket running in the MSA president/vice president election. We feel that DeCorsey and Guider have many strong ideas for policy changes needed at the University. They want to make MSA less intimidating to join and expand local community outreach. We also believe DeCorsey and Guider are critical of the administration in important areas — something Mishra and Kian are hesitant to be. However, our board feels their plan to implement those strong ideas falls short. The depth of their campaign weighs heavily into our endorsement, as its lack of depth indicates an inability to hit the ground running when the candidates would assume the responsibilities of their leadership positions. While certainly any student should be able to run for a leadership role in student government, it’s important that all students running have a strategy for transitioning into the role of president and vice president.
Running MSA is a burdensome responsibility. It’s a job that requires experience and powerful leadership skills in conjunction with a broad vision that stands on the pillars of executable actions and policies. We believe Mishra and Kian have the ability to continue the work that MSA has undertaken and institute new ideas to benefit the University and the student body. We look forward to the election and to seeing what is in store for both tickets.
Editor’s note: The Daily editorial board interviewed the four candidates for MSA president and vice president on Feb. 16 and Feb. 18. The Daily will not be making endorsements in the COGS and PSG races.