MSU’s undergraduate student government general assembly elected James Conwell as ASMSU president for the next academic school year during its elections Wednesday night.
“The first thing I’m going to do (is) start meeting with members of the Office of the President to develop a plan for this year,” said Conwell, who is the current representative for Lyman Briggs College.
Conwell ran against current Vice President for Internal Affairs Teresa Bitner.
Bitner lost to Conwell with a vote count of 14 to 12.
In his speech, Conwell said he wanted to “shift the vision of the organization to (advocate) for students’ rights.”
“We as a student government should go (to university officials) and be stern on what’s positive for our students,” he said.
Conwell said his experience sitting on several university committees and his involvement as a representative and chairman for the Academic Affairs Committee within ASMSU has equipped him for the skills to be an effective president.
He said he thinks communication between members of the organization as well as with the student body is a large issue that he plans to remedy.
"(We need to) start going to where the students are ... so we can connect with the student body and ensure that their voice is heard,” he said.
Conwell also was running for Vice President for Academic Affairs. Because he was an uncontested candidate, elections are to be rescheduled for a special election.
The general assembly also elected Greg Jackson for Vice President for Finance and Operations.
Jackson said he wants to immediately start working on getting the bike share program up and running and making sure the readership program is still intact.
“I’m going to contact USA Today and Zagster and get working with these relationships for next year,” Jackson said.
He said he also will contact Kaplan, a test preparation organization, to open up talks about graduate school research programs for undergraduates.
Jackson said he plans to shrink ASMSU’s budget and to collaborate with other members in the general assembly and the Office of the President to hear their ideas and help implement them.
Jackson said he wants to maintain ASMSU’s free legal services for undergraduates and be more involved with the Red Cedar Log staff, who puts together the MSU yearbook.
“My goal is to make sure that the students’ tax dollars are being used in the most effective way possible,” Jackson said in his speech.