Student Government Race in Full Swing – Wahl & Mastrud

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Dominique Menard, News Editor

Faith Wahl and Morgan Mastrud have put their hat in the mix for the upcoming elections for Student Body President and Vice President, respectively. They announced their bid for these roles on January 26th, 2022. The upcoming elections for Student Government are on April 13th, 2022.  

Who are Wahl & Mastrud?  

Faith Wahl 

Wahl is currently a junior, double majoring in business management and interdisciplinary health studies. She is involved in a myriad of different clubs, volunteering opportunities, administration committees, and leadership positions. Some of these roles include student government positions like Arts & Science Senator currently in Student Government, President of the North Dakota Student Association (previously the Vice President of Communication), member of University Senate, and member of Association of Residence Halls (ARH). She is a current member of sorority Kappa Delta (serves as panhellenic delegate and previously Vice President of Operations), and a member of the honor society Beta Sigma Gamma. Wahl has been a part of different volunteering roles like Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership mentorship program and the Pancratez Mentorship program. She has been a member of the Student Affairs council for the North Dakota University System, Student Fee Advisory Committee, and the Administrator Procedures Committee (dealing with grade appeals). In her free time, Wahl enjoys participating in her Bible study, intramurals, running, playing with her dog, reading, and traveling. 

Morgan Mastrud 

Mastrud is currently a Junior who is currently pursuing a double major in biology and Spanish. She is pursuing pre-medicine and is within the honors program. Morgan has been involved in multiple student government roles, clubs, employment opportunities, and sat on different administration committees. Some of her student government roles included being an Off-Campus Senator (2020-2021), president pro-tempore (which means she filled in for the Vice President if they were gone), member of Association of Residence Halls (ARH), and Chief of Staff of the Student Body president (2021-2022). She is a member of the Undergraduate Medical Association and sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Mastrud has sat on the student fee advisory board, academic standard committee, co-chair of the connecting campus committee, and a member of the first student-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. She has also found time to be a CPR instructor at the Wellness Center, help with research in a neuroscience lab on campus, and a teaching assistant in the honors program. In her free time, Mastrud enjoys traveling (to practice her Spanish skills), going to the lake, playing tennis, and reading.  

 

What is their campaign?  

Wahl and Mastrud have created the slogan of “We Are More” for their campaign. Their main goal is to connect people from all corners of campus; they want to create more connection so that they can make UND and the Greater Grand Forks area a better place. Doing this means reaching out to students who traditionally don’t engage in Student Government. “We want to expand the focus beyond just Greek life” Wahl stated.  

The main component of their campaign is represented in the “More” of “We are More.” “M” stands for mental health, “O” stands for opportunities, “R” stands for resources, and “E” stands for empower. Wahl & Mastrud have not only outlined these elements within their plan, but also have demonstrated action steps that they have already implemented in each area. Several of the action steps they have already taken include:  

  • Mental Health 
  • “Secured increased funding for additional mental health providers in the UND Counseling Center and their proposed aviation-focused psychologist.” 
  • “Provide awareness around mental health illness weeks through multiple student government resolutions.” 
  • “Obtained funding for ‘distress kits’ free of cost to students.” 
  • Opportunities & Resources 
  • “Secured the parking spots at the wellness center that are free of charge for students”  
  • “Acquired funding for the placement of additional career mentors at UND to assist students.” 
  • “Created educational materials to help students understand and engage in local and federal elections” 
  • “Initiated conversations about future renovations and updates to campus housing” 
  • Empower 
  • “Served on the first Student-led Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for Student Government.” 
  • “Began Connected Campus Committee to empower students from different areas of campus to engage with each other and bridge existing gaps for students.” 
  • “Served in leadership positions for a statewide higher education advocacy group that aims to develop leaders throughout North Dakota.” 

Wahl & Mastrud stated that it’s not just about the words you say, but the actions that you put behind them. They have taken the time to meet with students and organizations across campus to build “genuine” connections and build conversations with others. Part of connecting the various corners of campus is simply educating others on what is feasible for Student Government. Wahl stated that “most individuals don’t know what student government is, what role we play on campus, and how we can provide opportunities to enhance their college careers.” They continually reiterated the role that Student Government can play in making sure student’s needs are met. 

In general, Wahl & Mastrud hope to provide students with a sense of belonging and be the “connectors” to their passions. There are many components that contribute to a student’s wellbeing, and Wahl & Mastrud hope that they can provide these things. The impact this party aims to provide to campus are highlighted thoroughly within their platform; however, some of the ideas that are hoped to be implemented include education/awareness about student government, additional programing for mental health, infrastructure projects on campus (like “livening up the union”), mentorship programs, parking concerns (“multifactorial problem, however ready to advocate for students”), and building up resources like career services or the food pantry. 

 

What made them want these roles, and how are they prepared? 

Through all the varying experiences she has had, Wahl stated that this was the natural next step for her. She feels confident in her ability to step into this role and is willing/wanting to work hard for the needs of the students. Wahl states that she has genuinely loved her time at UND and wants to provide the “greatest good” before she’s gone; for her, this is through policies, procedures, and making students feel heard. Wahl stated that if she “can be any small part in people’s time in college through making them feel valued and heard,” she has succeeded in her role as a student advocate and leader.  

Mastrud stated that ever since she was a freshman participating in ARH, she has seen the impact that student government can have on students. She has decided to take on the idea of “leadership in action;” she wants to hear the concerns, opinions, and values of students and express change through the daily actions. Within her time in student government, Mastrud has loved her time within the student senate; since the Vice President’s role is to run the senate, Mastrud stated that her experiences as senator and Presidential Chief of Staff have prepared her for this role. 

When asked about each other as running mates, both Mastrud and Wahl had nothing but compliments for one another. Wahl stated that “Morgan has always been a great listener, respectful, genuine, intelligent and caring for others.” Mastrud stated a similar sentiment stating that working as a team was important; “we are friends, have the same values, and know how to lift each other up.” Wahl & Mastrud stated that it was “empowering” being one of the first all-female tickets in the University’s history. Being “strong women” for themselves, as well as a role model for others; “women have not just the ability to hold leadership roles, but women have the ability to do these leadership roles well” Wahl stated.  

Wahl and Mastrud urge that all students take the time on April 13th to vote in the elections. “This is the time for students’ voices to be heard,” Wahl stated. Information on how to vote will be sent to UND emails on the day of elections. To learn more about the Wahl/Mastrud campaign, you can follow @WahlMastrud on Instagram and Facebook.  

Dominique Menard is a Dakota Student News Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]