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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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He's back - or is he?

In a surprising move, Chris Frederick files for the MSSA presidency

by Derek Wehrwein

Issue date: 03/19/09 Section: Campus News
Media Credit: Reporter archives

Is he serious?

That's the question Minnesota State Student Association members are asking themselves after former MSSA president Chris Frederick filed for the position again earlier this week.

Monday was the first day candidates could file for the position of MSSA president. Two others, MSSA Vice President Murtaza Rajabali and Senate Speaker Brett Carpenter, have also filed. But Frederick's filing appears to have caught many in the MSSA off guard, and left them wondering whether the 2007-08 MSSA president is truly planning another run.

"It definitely comes as a surprise," said current president Ryan Anderson, who served as speaker when Frederick was MSSA president. "I don't know what his intentions are."

Surprise was a sentiment both Rajabali and Carpenter expressed as well. Whether Frederick goes ahead with his candidacy, Rajabali said, is "still to be seen."

Frederick, now serving a one-year term as the Minnesota State University Student Association president, ran uncontested for MSSA president in spring 2007. Last year he ran for Mankato City Council chair Mike Laven's At Large seat, losing by less than 400 votes out of nearly 16,000 cast.

"I think MSSA is a great avenue for students to get their voices heard, and the more students that run the more opinions and ideas are put on the table for discussion," Frederick said. He gave no indication as to whether he was serious about a run, but added that he encouraged students to file for president or vice president by the March 24 deadline.

Rajabali isn't waiting around for Frederick to start campaigning, however. The MSSA vice president has kicked off his own campaign with a Web site, Facebook group and YouTube video. He is running as a member of the newly-formed "Mavericks Stand Tall" party, which features the slogan "students for progress."

"We've been through change and we've been through hope - now it's time for progress," Rajabali said.

While Carpenter has also filed, he remains uncertain about whether he will follow through with his candidacy.

"There are some other factors that would affect my decision that have not yet fully played out in terms of availability," he said, referring to his employment and education plans.

Both Carpenter and Rajabali said preserving academic standards at MSU in the face of deep budget cuts is their highest priority. Rajabali also emphasized the importance of affordable college and improved advising for students.

The filing deadline for presidential and vice presidential candidates ends March 24. All other candidates must file by March 31. Elections will be held April 7, with presidential and vice presidential debates taking place April 1.

"I really hope both Brett and Rajab get out there and talk intelligently about what we do and can do," Anderson said, noting he also hoped to see "contrasting visions" from the two.

Derek Wehrwein is the Reporter editor in chief