My name is Corey Helie-Masters and I want to be your MSU President. That is a sentence you will be hearing a lot in the upcoming days. It may not be my name all the time, but someone is likely approaching you right now to tell you about their platform and why you should vote for them. Someone will talk about food, others about laptop chargers.
I will mostly be talking about saving 20 minutes everyday and how that provides so much opportunity to enhance student life. This editorial is purposed as a soapbox, one for each candidate to stand on and shout their platform as loud as possible, but I’m not going to do that. I want to use this stage to ask the question that so many people are thinking: why are there no female candidates?
I am not going to try and guess or stipulate why every woman on campus has decided not put their name in the hat of presidential candidates. I’m not them, but what I will do is ask them. I know quite a few women who would have made great candidates, and equally great presidents. The fact that not one of them has decided to run is quite upsetting.
So how do you go about increasing female representation? To reference a Silhouette article from two years ago, it’s not about getting the student body to vote for a female candidate—they are more than supportive—it is getting their name on the ballot. After conversing with a few of my female friends, I gained a little insight, and I think continuing that conversation is key. Focus groups with our current female student leaders can be used to identify why they are not seeking more senior positions. Different groups could become involved and this could turn into a future project for the WGEN.
I think that’s what we need to happen. It’s what I will make happen. We need to increase our support for our female leaders and get them involved, because in order to truly get connected, we need the experience and influence of every person on campus, whether male or female.