When they arrived at North Dakota State, Spencer Moir and Anuj Teotia said they felt they didn’t matter. Now they’re running for student body president and VP.
Among four presidential tickets, Moir and Teotia highlight transparency, strong advising and campus outreach on their platform of “Clarify, Unify, Strengthen.” The two champion their experiences at NDSU, from Moir’s involvement in Cru and the Sigma Chi fraternity to Teotia’s time in the International Students Association and student government, among other organizations the two have been part of.
“I always thought I was a number,” Teotia said of arriving at NDSU as a 17-year-old international student. “I can actually be a part of the change on campus.”
Student fee transparency, Moir said, is admittedly a heavy point on all campaigns this election; rightly so, he added, as student government is responsible for the disbursal of the $3.8 million student activity fee.
“We think it’s really important that students understand the purpose of the fee … as well as understanding the administrators’ perspective on the fee so they can really make an educated decision when student government votes on it each year,” Moir said.
The pair also plans to advocate for student health insurance to create more affordability and better options.
Followup Fridays are another area of clarification, Teotia said, a day when Tuesday Two results could be released to students offered the survey in the first place.
Connecting students with their senators is the final focus under the pair’s first point, to further student government outreach.
“We’d like to see consistent outreach,” Moir said, adding update emails and meetings would be possible connection outlets.
Moir and Teotia both say advising goes deeper than registering for classes, which is where their pillar of “Unify” comes into play.
Advisers can help students formulate a career, plan for graduate school and succeed in students’ fields, Teotia said.
“We decided that we could set clear expectations between advisers and students so they both know what to expect from their advising appointment,” he added, discussing goal maps for academic majors so students can select classes online and graduate on time.
“Unify” also encompasses community connection, a focus Moir and Teotia said they both have gained living in Fargo away from home.
Moir is from Rochester, Minn., while Teotia is from New Delhi, India.
Moir said he and Teotia would like to work with area media and resources like Spotlight Media to showcase opportunities and events in Fargo.
“Something that I always say about Fargo and NDSU is the weather here might be cold but the staff and students are so warm that you always feel like home,” Teotia said. “Fargo and NDSU have truly become our home over the last two years.”
A campus co-op to partner with Fargo-Moorhead institutions is also under the pair’s second campaign point, to include service projects and other connecting experiences, Teotia said.
The ticket would like to see consistent orientation, especially for international, transfer and graduate students, Moir said.
“It’s really important they understand the opportunities they can take advantage of to strengthen the NDSU community,” he said, adding an off-campus living guide comes along with this point.
Opening another campus facility 24/7 beyond the Quentin Burdick Building is another strengthening idea, Teotia said, adding he and Moir spoke with facilities management director Mike Ellingson about another extended hours study space.
Dining centers are another facility accessibility area too, Teotia added, as the centers close early on weekends. The pair would like to “balance out those hours” with some from Monday through Friday, he said.
Developing more leaders and connecting across campus is the final idea under “Strengthen,” Moir said, inciting more collaboration at NDSU.
Like other teams running for the presidential positions, Moir said he’s hopeful more tickets will bring more voters.
“I’d love to see that number get higher,” he said. “It’s really important students are engaging, so hopefully this four-ticket game will get more students interested.”
Learning from 2015’s voter apathy, Moir said he and Teotia are trying “a huge social media push” and spreading word from friend to friend.
“I think those personal connections are really what make people vote more,” Moir said, adding their campaign as “gone very well” thus far. The two have worked regularly on their campaign plan since December, Moir said.
“We’ve put the time in and it’s coming together now,” Moir said, adding their “diverse experiences on campus” and combined four years in student government give them a bit of a different edge when it comes to four tickets that Moir said have been perceived by some as similar platforms.