Students have elected Kevin Struxness as next year’s Student Senate president and Austen McFarren as the vice president.
McFarren defeated Joao “Johnny” Cunha in the only contested election on this spring’s ballot. Struxness and treasurer-elect Richa Neupane ran unopposed while all six candidates who ran for 11 senate seats were elected. Write-in candidate Erica Durheim also won a spot to represent the College of Education and Human Services.
McFarren, a secondary education junior, and Struxness, a political science junior, were not available for comment by press time. Outgoing Student Senate President Russel Ferguson said they will make a formidable team.
“Both of them are passionate leaders,” he said. “They are very inquisitive and very caring people … I think next year’s senate should be even better than this year’s.”
Ferguson said he’s proud of the senate’s work over the past year, finding it validating that the MSUM Student Organization Advisory Committee named the group the organization of the year.
He pointed to the senate’s involvement in opposing the Minnesota constitutional amendment to require photo identification for voting, the organizing of on-campus debates in dorms and the highest MSUM student voter turnout in history, among other successful initiatives.
Ferguson credited the strong core of senate leaders with helping him have a fulfilling presidency.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and it was one of the most rewarding things,” he said. “It was a wonderful opportunity and I’m going to miss it.”
BY BRYCE HAUGEN/strong>