It’s that time of year again for ASMSU elections where the students will select their student body president and vice president for the upcoming academic year. There are four groups running in the presidential races, each with their own unique strengths to offer the university.
The primary debate will take place Feb. 25, at noon in the Union Market in the SUB. Primary elections will occur on the same day from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. The two candidates who move on will be voted on during the final election which starts on March 4. Students can vote in both elections online at www.montana.edu/vote.
John Miller & Kyra Morrissey
John Miller and Kyra Morrissey are running for ASMSU president and vice president respectively. Both members of the Greek community, in the Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Omicron Pi houses, Miller and Morrissey believe their involvement on campus makes them strong candidates for the positions. Miller said, “We’re very rounded. We cover all aspects of the university from the foundation and funding side to the student involvement side.”
Currently an ambassador for the MSU alumni foundation, Miller said he has learned about the funding side of the university most do not get to see. “Its a great role … It’s been interesting to see that whole different side of the university,” he said. Miller also believes that he has gained valuable relationships with people through his position at the alumni foundation. “I’ve worked closely with Dean Caires and President Cruzado … It’s nice to have those working relationships.”
Miller also has experience with ASMSU as a senator in 2013/14 academic year but thinks he and Morrissey could bring new ideas to the organization since his previous involvement. “With ASMSU there’s a lot of people who have been there a long time, and I think we’re new faces,” he said.
Gwynn Simeniuk & Levi Birky
Gwynn Simeniuk will be running alongside Levi Birky in this year’s presidential race. Having been involved with club sports, the Alpha Lambda Delta honors society and the National Society of Collegiate scholars, Birky has a significant amount of experience with student organizations and has been involved on campus.
Currently in his second year as an ASMSU senator, Birky believes the experience he and his running mate have in leadership positions will make them the best candidates for next year’s ASMSU administration. The pair cited their efficiency and experience as their strong suits. “We’re going to step into this as a team that can work together efficiently … I think a lot of the competition is running on issues but not how to address those issues,” they said. Birky has written and sponsored several bills for ASMSU, including the renovations of Cheever 215 and the Freshman Ambassador program. He has also written bills for ASMSU to lobby on in Montana legislature, most recently being a $7 million research grant and a freeze on in-state tuition — experience that he says would be valuable as the vice president of ASMSU.
Charlie Bernstein & Matthew Bussey
Charlie Bernstein is running for the position of ASMSU president with Matthew Bussey as his partner. Bernstein first came to MSU in 2009 and returned in 2013 after a break from school, studying political science with a focus on theory. Bernstein and his running mate believe that the biggest problem with ASMSU is that the organization doesn’t always listen to the students’ wishes. He wants to change that, saying: “I can’t come into [ASMSU] with an agenda … my goal is to work for the students.”
Bernstein has experience with other student groups on campus, notably the Model United Nations club, which he helped build. Within that club, Bernstein holds an administrative position that he believes has given him valuable experience. “I do have experience with this sort of thing,” he said.
The main issue that the pair wants to push for in ASMSU is a greater student voice in decision making. He said of his campaign, “we have a goal of pushing student voices over our own agendas.” To do so, Bernstein wants to start by having an open forum discussion with ASMSU and their constituents and getting the things the students want done out in the open.
Imel Wheat & Taylor Falcon
Imel Wheat is running for president with Taylor Falcon as his running mate. Wheat, who studies business, wants to take action on campus through ASMSU to fulfill student requests. “We are fed up hearing what others will do without seeing results. We want to take action,” Wheat said.
Wheat is currently involved with Residence Life as an RA in South hedges. He and Falcon are passionate about MSU’s students and wants to be able to make MSU “a better place to be a student both in our current roles and in any future role we may acquire.” The duo believes it is their duty to represent the students first and foremost. Wheat said, “One of the most important things the two of us believe in is that we are trying to become student representatives.”
The pair encourage all students to talk to them on campus or out in the community. “If you see either of us on campus come talk to us. We’d love to get to know you and we’ll try to make you laugh,” Wheat said.