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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Afolayan the Best Fit Among Impressive MSSA Candidates

April 06, 2006

In each of their respective campaigns, the 2006 Minnesota State Student Association presidential nominees have shown great promise.

Michael Bruner has promised to represent “regular students.” Joey Neigum has promised he’s an average student who will “represent everyone,” despite having no experience on the MSSA. Gabe Afolayan has promised to “promote a proactive campus.”

Luckily for Minnesota State students, each presidential candidate has offered a wealth of reasons why they’re fit for duty. Each candidate shows great potential and enthusiasm for leading the student senate. But the Reporter must humbly endorse Gabe Afolayan as the candidate best suited to preside over the MSSA.

Afolayan is a model student who’s participated in many diverse student organizations and activities. His campaign has been positive and optimistic, and Afolayan has faithfully proven himself with dignity to be fit to preside over the MSSA. He’s already an experienced senator (currently serving as the speaker) and would be one of the most approachable presidents in recent history. He is a go-getter; the kind of student who represents MSU in and out of the classroom, as well as in the MSSA.

His competitors would undoubtedly fulfill their duties, but each draw concerns.

Bruner and the MavStudents party circulated a series of campaign posters that read “Wanted” with a picture of President Richard Davenport. Despite the credibility of their argument (“Classrooms over plasma screens”), and despite calling out the president for a statement he made last month about speaking with students not being one of his duties, it’s imperative that the MSSA president maintain a positive working relationship with Davenport and the entire MSU administration. Something so bold as a “Wanted” poster is cause for concern, and likely not the kind of foundation conducive to effective collaboration.

Neigum’s campaign has been sheer class, but the lack of experience with the MSSA is too great a risk. President is never an entry-level position and without experience in the student senate, it’s hard to imagine Neigum effectively running it. Neigum should be used in some capacity, however — in a perfect world, perhaps vice president — but in a job where candidates are given so little time to make change and maintain order, Neigum would be forced to spend a great deal of his time just learning the ropes.

Neigum and Bruner are certainly capable, but Afolayan is the perfect mix of leadership, experience and positivity necessary for president. The Reporter believes the student body would be best served by Gabe Afolayan, a candidate whose motivation and work ethic would be of great benefit.