The ASMSU election season for the 2014-2015 academic year has descended onto campus. With student elections scheduled for March 4-5, the race for student body president is going to be tight.
The first pair is Destini French running with Jordan Garceau. Presidential candidate French comes from Los Angeles and is studying family and consumer science while vice president candidate Garceau is studying sociology and writing and is involved in the Leadership Institute. These candidates work as a dynamic team, with their own different experiences coming together to make them a serious competitor.
The second pair is Justin Ailport running with Devlynn Gogan. Presidential candidate Ailport originally comes from Drummond, Mont. and is studying sociology. Gogan currently studies political science and is interested in law. Ailport is a self-titled idealist and described Gogan as the realist of the pair.
1. What is the most important idea you want to convey to the student body?
Destini (D): The most important message we want to convey is One Campus, One Community, by bridging the gaps between all the organizations and bringing the students together. The ways that we’re going to do that is through our three tenets: involvement, awareness and empowerment.
Jordan (G): It’s about making people feel like this is their home and they are connected.
Justin (J): Internal restructuring of ASMSU would result in a more empowered and active student body. Students should never underestimate the power we have to shape the university. It’s about making students feel that they have the support.
2. What inspired you to run for office?
J: I have run for office quite a few times. This would be my fourth time; last year I lost by three votes. I’m just really an internal optimist and idealist.
D: Being experienced in all the different clubs and organizations, you see the inconsistencies and you feel like you can’t get your voice heard. In this [presidential] position, we would be able to have more influence over changing this.
3. What are the main areas/issues you want to address during your prospective presidency?
G: Some people don’t even know what their fees are paying for! We need to be getting our name out there and letting them know, “This is who we are and what we have to offer you.”
J: A big one for me is educating students about what ASMSU is. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility to educate these constituents. You have senators who are elected on 68 votes and feel like they’re doing great work because they show up to a meeting one night a week. That’s just not effective.
4. What previous experience qualifies you to be student body president?
D: I am an athlete who is president of the Student Athletics Advisory Committee. I am also an orientation leader and so I have to represent that image of MSU. Also I work in the diversity office and Alumni Foundation.
J: I started an organization recently called Spectrum, which is an LGBT activist group on campus. I am involved in QSA, Men Stopping Rape; I am a moderator for sustained dialogue; I write the admission blog and am an AdvoCat.
5. What do you think the most important responsibility of the student body president is?
J: If I’m elected, one of my biggest focuses will be that students need to be aware of what is going on. The Bobcat Buzz? Great. What about a newsletter saying what you’ve tangibly done.
D: To help all students by coming up with new and innovative ideas. You have to say: Hey students! Let’s get this going!
G: We’re not afraid to do the heavy lifting.
6. What do you think the most important ASMSU programs are to students?
J: BreaksAway. I went to San Francisco last year and it actually changed my life. I had never done anything like that before and came back and felt like: I am ready to go to work.
7. What are three changes you plan to implement?
G: I think it’s impossible to come into this job and have us decide what the students want. We want to do round-table discussions, start workshops and just get people talking.
D: We want to ask the students: “Here are our ideas; what are yours?”