Meisner hopes persistence pays off after first victory

Student Association President-elect Phil Meisner has a string of losses in his past.

He ran for the SA’s freshman Senate seat and lost. Later that year, he ran for a leadership position within the College Democrats and lost. In March, he ran for the SA presidency, got kicked off the ballot after missing a mandatory meeting and then lost as a write-in candidate. But a recount put him in a runoff election.

That time around, he won.

“I just felt I had to (run for SA president). The time was right,” said Meisner, a sophomore.

“I’m persistent,” he said. “I mean, I lost other elections, and I’m still here and I was kicked off the ballot and I ran a successful write-in campaign. I’m constantly proving to myself that if I want to get something done, I can do it.”

Meisner said he wants to persist in getting Coca-Cola products on campus if that is what students want.

“I’m a Coke man,” Meisner said. “I’m pretty confident that other students want Coke as well.”

But Meisner said looking into the soft-drink contract with the University’s food supplier is not the only thing he plans to do as SA president.

Meisner said his other initiatives focus on improving academic programs, such as his plan to implement “Student Departmental Committees” in each academic department. The committees would be composed of students and be responsible for running the advising programs within each school.

Meisner said he also wants to work on expansion of the test file, which he wants to make available online.

“I want to move toward an SA that has more of an academic facet,” Meisner said. “It has to be done, that’s all there is to it.”

Meisner said he wants to restore the SA’s credibility next year.

“The task set out for us is to gain back respect. To prove that we are worthy of respect, we have to get moving and work on our initiatives,” he said. “We have to get back to where we think as students and not as SA presidents and vice presidents.”

Meisner said continued persistence will be one of his biggest challenges next year.

“I was told by past SA presidents that after the election, I’d have a massive amount of energy. Successful presidents don’t lose that energy,” he said.

Meisner said because he will be only a junior when he serves as president, the possibility exists that he will run for re-election. But, for now, he said he remains undecided about whether to run again next year.

“I wouldn’t want to step in front of another candidate, but I intend to work my butt off this year,” Meisner said. “I’m not going to allow any work of mine to be compromised or scattered to the wind by another president.”

Meisner also said he will not commit to running for re-election because the future is unpredictable.

“A thousand things could happen,” he said. “We could go to war with Russia and I would have to enlist. You don’t know.”

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