Meet Who is Running for Student Body President

All three student body president candidates were asked four questions. Voting opens at 8 a.m., Thursday April 2, and closes at 5 p.m. Friday, April 3. Student we receive an email to vote online or can vote in person at the student government office in the Memorial Union.

Tell us about yourself and why you are running for student body president.

Heller: My name is Isaac Heller, I’m majoring in Political Science and Biological Sciences, and I am a Student Senator and Treasurer for the Skydiving Club. I’m a passionate advocate for transparency, representation, and safety for NDSU students. I aim to make the decision-making process accessible to every student, especially for decisions surrounding the use of students’ tuition money. My dedication stems from my belief that informed students, are empowered students, where every voice is valuable and deserves to be heard. Running for student body president is my way of bringing the power to the people by shifting NDSU to be more transparent and allow for more in depth engagement from students, ensuring our governance reflects the diverse wants and needs of our students.

Kuhn: I’m Garrett Kuhn, I grew up on a small ranch in small town Western North Dakota. Throughout my life I was taught the values of hard work. Here at NDSU I’m currently a triple major while also maintaining my job and club commitments. I’m a person that gets every last moment out of my day and tries to keep a balanced schedule. Fundamentally I’m a doer. I see a problem and think of realistic solutions. I’m not afraid of making sacrifices if it means realizing my goals. I believe in the NDSU spirit and hope you will help me by putting students first.

Zoe McKinven (left) and VP candidate Kaley Quam (right).

McKinven: Hi Bison! My name is Zoe McKinven, and I am running for your next Student Body President! A little bit about myself, I am a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Pre-Law. Currently, I am the Student Government Executive Administrator. Also, I am a current member and former President of Kappa Delta Sorority. I am running for your Student Body President because I have had such an amazing three years at NDSU and want to ensure that all students enjoy this institution as much as I do!

What do you see as the biggest problems facing NDSU students, and how do you plan to address them?

Garrett Kuhn (left) and VP partner Christopher Dick (right)

Kuhn: Our platform would like to focus on two problems: communication and connectivity. Communication is important to convey inform and as students we see this most in our college emails. We would like to implement a policy that would allow students to decide which specific topics they would like to see in their emails. In regard to connectivity, we believe connection across the campus seems to be solely focused on in the beginning of the year and trails off to non-existence by the spring. We would like to implement a Connectivity Council that would serve to provide large scale club recruitment days and campus wide events. We believe this will better connect students to the many different clubs we have across campus as well as to each other.

McKinven: I believe that a challenge NDSU students face is not knowing how to voice their input to student leaders and who to approach with these issues. Student Government can be a huge resource to students, but the average student doesn’t come to the Student Government Office or attend Student Senate meetings. An idea to remedy this issue is to have monthly Student Government Open Forums. These would be forums during the day while students are on campus and different days/times each month, so each month it would align with different students’ schedules. At these forums, students would be encouraged to voice their concerns.

Heller: The biggest challenges facing NDSU students include the lack of transparency in tuition decisions and inadequate representation of student voices which creates disenfranchisement from students from the institution they trust with their money. My plan involves enhancing tuition literacy, ensuring every decision is made with full transparency and student involvement. Moreover, student safety on campus needs urgent attention. There is also an extreme lack of camera coverage which has led to a large number of vehicle, bicycle, and package thefts on campus grounds. Improving campus safety through the implementation of security systems is a necessity to ensure the well-being of our students and students’ property.

Compared to previous student governments, what do you want to continue, improve, and/or change?

McKinven: The current Student Government Diversity and Inclusion Commission has done an amazing job putting on different cultural events on campus. I would want to continue this work, as it is so important for all students to feel seen and a part of the NDSU community. To help organizations who receive funding from Student Government, I hope to work with the Finance Commissioners to create a finance guide/handbook. The reason for this is because with turnover of leadership, how to create the budget can be lost in translation. I want to make receiving funding as seamless as possible.

Heller (left) and Mitzel (right)

Heller: Previously, Student Government has taken a few steps towards involving students, but there’s a critical need for a more transparent governance that takes into account the desires of the student body. I aim to build heavily on these efforts by deepening our commitment to transparency, making sure every student understands and participates in governance processes. Student Government has been working on adding cameras at University Village after numerous property thefts, which is a great start, but I plan to significantly improve campus safety from the minimal security infrastructure currently in place, ensuring every student feels safe.

Kuhn: I believe that the current Student Body President and Vice-President have embodied what it means to be an involved student across campus, even while in office. We hope to continue this by involving ourselves across campus even while serving.  We feel that the current student government provides a great resource for hearing the student voice and providing a transparent look at the current goings on around campus. I believe the biggest way that we can improve the current system is by providing our outsider’s perspective of the average student’s life.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Heller: What sets me apart from the other candidates is that I WILL NOT STOP. I will work relentlessly until students’ needs are adequately represented in the decision-making process at NDSU. My unwavering commitment to transparency and empowering every student’s voice is why voters should choose me. My dedication to these principles, along with a clear, actionable plan, distinguishes me as the candidate who cares for NDSU students’ needs and is also committed to addressing them head-on.

McKinven: Experience is something that separates me apart from the other presidential candidates. I have been on the Student Government Executive Team for the past year and fully understand what the role of Student Body President would entail. I have seen how the Executive Team works together and know the roles of the Executive positions. As the President oversees the Executives, this is important. Also, this next year is a legislative year, so the next Student Body President will travel to Bismarck, North Dakota, and testify on behalf of NDSU students. As a political science major, I feel prepared to represent NDSU students at the North Dakota legislature.

Kuhn: The main difference I see between our campaign and the others’ is what specific policies we are addressing. We have spent the time doing research and listening to other student to produce policies that are realistic and will address the problems we see across campus. We believe our platform will bring changes that the average student across NDSU will see even if they knew nothing about Student Government. Fundamentally we believe in Putting Student’s First period.

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