The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, elected Mario Kakos to lead the 2019-20 session Wednesday night in a unanimous vote.
The political science junior from West Bloomfield replaces outgoing senior Katherine “Cookie” Rifiotis after serving the organization this past year as the Vice President for Internal Administration.
“I do not want a strict or rigid plan for ASMSU,” Kakos said. “By ensuring that all departments and all facets are engaged with one another, we will be able to effectively respond (to administrative changes).”
Kakos also represented ASMSU on the University Council — the highest-ranking governing group on campus below the Board of Trustees — as well as serving on ASMSU’s Steering Committee, which controls the job descriptions and salaries of every ASMSU staff member.
Kakos credited his time as engagement coordinator during his sophomore year with giving him the idea to run for a spot in the Office of the President, and to eventually lead the entire organization.
“I really got to see how ASMSU internally works,” he said. “After I ran for VPIA (Vice President of Internal Administration) and got elected, at an even greater level, I saw how the administration sometimes treats students.”
During his time on the freshman class council, he said he was ready to quit because he didn’t feel appreciated by the higher-level members of the administration. But it was Rifiotis — his now predecessor — who reached out in March 2017 and convinced him to stay and eventually apply for his role as engagement coordinator.
When asked if he considers Rifiotis a mentor, Kakos went a step further.
“A sister, I’d even say,” he said.
Kakos ran unopposed, just as the past two ASMSU presidents did.
“I don’t know if it's just (that) people feel like someone else is running for them so they back out, or what it could be,” he said. “I want GA reps to be proud to vote for me, not because I’m the only choice.”