The mix of a female and a male point of view is what sophomore Amy Trotter and junior Travis Mikkelson feel give them the edge over other Students’ Association (SA) presidential and vice presidential candidates.
“Something that’s really good I think that we have, just like this year, is a male and a female running, so you have a male perspective and a female perspective,” vice presidential candidate Mikkelson said.
The running mates may be different sexes, but they share many other commonalities.
“We come from both sides from the male and the feminine perspective, but we both have a lot of the same qualities as far as leadership [and being] outgoing,” Mikkelson said.
Equipped with their confidence, Trotter and Mikkelson hope to make a difference for students on campus.
“Obviously, this is their campus and we’re excited to make things happen for them,” Trotter said. “We’re both pretty motivated people that really like to get things done.”
Perhaps Trotter and Mikkelson’s biggest goal on their agenda is to transition students back into the University Student Union and stress the utilization of the new building.
“This year’s freshmen have no concept of a union and we’d really like to focus on bringing them back and being like, ‘This is what we’ve all been missing this year,’ ” Trotter said. “Everybody else is going crazy not having a union and they have no concept of it.”
With the current finish date for the Student Union projected as July 1, the big summer project for Trotter and Mikkelson, if elected, is making sure everything is in working order.
“Getting back here in the summer before school starts and trying to get into the union and making sure … we have everything in the union working the way it needs to be working for the students in the fall is the thing, I would say, is the thing that really needs to be accomplished,” Mikkelson said.
The task of restarting the Student Union is something that isn’t expected to be easy.
“That transition is going to be pretty huge, so that will be a summer project in itself,” Trotter said.
Several other items on their agenda deal with making students more aware of on-campus groups and activities. As current members of Greek societies, Trotter and Mikkelson would like to promote that way of life.
“I guess we want to do more with the Greek promotion,” Mikkelson said.
“The Greek life has been growing every year. I mean, it’s been getting bigger and bigger and a lot more people are obviously becoming involved in it, so we’d like to let more students know about it and the opportunities they can get from being in the Greek system,” Mikkelson said.
The SA is another group Trotter and Mikkelson would like to promote.
“People in the last week or two have seen the posters and they’re like, ‘What are you running for? What’s SA?’ That’s kind of sad because SA is for the students and if they don’t know what SA is, then how are they supposed to tell us what they want?” Trotter said.
Some of the items on Trotter and Mikkelson’s agenda include starting a website for students to converse with one another.
“We’d like to work with a student website – separate from sdstate.edu – that allows students to sell books and write professors and know what’s going on and just be connected with each other,” Trotter said.
The website would include features that allow students to discuss housing, rentals, and homework, among other things.
Improving handicap accessibility, placing more wireless ports in classrooms, bringing back the SDSU yearbook and restructuring the Collegian are also on Trotter and Mikkelson’s list of goals.
Walking across campus during the winter months is something Mikkelson, a Viborg, SD native, would like to improve, as well.
“Snow removal on campus is something that I don’t feel exists and it’s kind of a problem,” Mikkelson said.
Trotter and Mikkelson plan on visiting as many groups and organizations as they can before the election occurs.
“We want to get to as many groups as possible so everybody can meet us and know us and see where we’re going,” Trotter said. “I guess that’s probably our biggest task ahead of us.”
Student input is something Mikkelson and Trotter see as an essential part of running for SA.
“Getting a closer contact with the students and knowing exactly what they want, what they need and what they like. Otherwise, if you’re not talking to your constituents and if they don’t know who you are, then you’re not able to fully fulfill your position,” Trotter said.
The two students decided to run together after meeting last year through the Greek society and mutual friends.
“We both have a lot of the same type of personalities. We’re both people-persons, so to speak. We’re outgoing and forward and we stay really busy and we’re just really motivated and goal-oriented, so we just kind of figured, what perfect personalities to have in leadership positions in the senate,” said Mikkelson.
Despite their similarities, differences between the two do exist, even in the smallest forms. Trotter, a Kilder, ND native, grew up on a farm, while Mikkelson describes himself as a “city slicker, through and through.”
Those differences provide a balance between the two candidates. Between the two running mates of Trotter and Mikkelson, they have been involved in UPC, Spanish club, and the National Guard.
“I think between the two of us, we cover a pretty broad spectrum of personality and activities and all that stuff,” Trotter said.
Now that the election is drawing near, Trotter and Mikkelson are looking forward to throwing themselves into their work.
“Now that I know I’m actually running, I can put 110% into it. We’re not coming in here to put in 50%. I want to win,” Mikkelson said.
Managing grades and other group activities is what Mikkelson and Trotter see as their biggest challenge.
“These are some commitments that we’re making for the next year for the students, so it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re here for them first and not second,” Mikkelson said.
#1.885381:2781497572.jpg:amydress.jpg:Amy Trotter and Travis Mikkelson: