Student President Race Draws Diverse Field

This year’s election has four election nominee pairs for president and VP: Casey Mulkey and Nate Brownlee, Kiah Abbey and Lindsay Murdock, John Stiles and Mario Stanislao, and Jesse Cook and Brian Murakami.

The primary election will be held Feb 14, one week before the general election  as per the ASMSU bylaws. The two candidates who win the most votes will continue on to the general elections.

This year, there are more people running as Blake Bjornson and Joey Steffens were the solo candidates last year. When asked about the increase in nominees this year,  ‘Bjornson attributed the stronger showing to, in part, his administration’s efforts to promote student government.

Kiah Abbey said that she wanted to convey an image of genuineness to students. “Lindsey and I are really passionate about MSU,” she said.

In her profile on the ASMSU elections webpage that she wanted to promote Bobcat spirit in all. Abbey talked about the same concept  in an interview saying, “I think Bobcat spirit takes many forms.” She went on to state that things such as academic excellence and general manners could be akin to Bobcat spirit. “Bobcat spirit is social responsibility,’ she added

Abbey said that a personal goal for the election was to get 25 percent of the MSU population to vote and get involved.

Jesse Cooke drew on his wide array of campus experiences–from his role as Homecoming King, tutor and staff member at the AskUs Desk, among others–to explain why he is the best candidate for the job.

“I’m always trying to be involved,” he said, and believes others should do the same. “If you don’t want to be involved, you don’t want to stay at MSU.”

Cooke is also concerned about the lack of a campus “sense of community,” saying it’s problem many people don’t realize exists. He proposes organizing more small events on campus as a potential solution.

“One idea I have is for a small, on-campus music festival,” he explained. The campus could use the festival to “bring in more local bands,” rather than host large annual concerts he added.

Casey Mulkey referenced his military experience as a way for him to effectively lead ASMSU. He said that trust would be an integral part of his administration, explaining that trusting employees and peers is extremely important.

Mulkey talked of the campus as a fractured society, saying, “Every student at MSU has their own individual view of things.” He said this could be a hindrance, but could also be a beneficial part of ASMSU.

The last candidate, John Stiles, pointed to his integrity and genuinity as indications of his presidential qualifications.

“Part of being a leader is being consistent in your personality and actions,” he said. Referencing his running partner, he comented, “Mario and I have not changed our personality, opinions, or the way we interact with fellow students merely because we are running for President/vice President.”

The Student Government President Blake Bjornson said of the upcoming debate, “I think its great. It will spur great conversation.”