UND to hold student body president, Senate elections this week

Ella Nelson and Connor Ferguson are running opposed for student bBody president and vice president, respectively

Faith and Morgan.jpg
Incumbent UND Student Body President Faith Wahl, left, and Vice President Morgan Mastrud.
Submitted photo.

GRAND FORKS — UND will hold its annual student government elections on April 19.

Ella Nelson, a sophomore studying biology, and Connor Ferguson, a sophomore studying information systems, are running unopposed for UND student body president and vice president, respectively. Current President Faith Wahl, and Vice President Morgan Mastrud will finish their term at the end of May.

In addition to president and vice president, there are 21 student senate seats up for election.

Senators represent each of UND’s nine academic colleges, as well as students living off campus.

“They’re really in charge of representing their constituents, and trying to represent what issues may be going on there,” Wahl said. “A lot of our off-campus students may be living in Greek houses or apartments, so the off-campus senators are the voice for those students.”


Wahl said although Nelson and Ferguson may not possess extensive experience in student government, they offer a new perspective.

“They’re both sophomores, so I’m excited to see some young leadership come in,” she said. “I don’t know if they have a ton of experience in the student government realm, but I think sometimes it’s a good thing to bring in new perspectives and voices, so I’m excited to see what they do.”

Wahl said the fact that the student body president and vice president candidates are running unopposed changes the dynamics of the election.

“I think it changes the energy on campus a little,” Wahl said. “When you have a contested race, students tend to get more involved and pick one side or the other, whereas when there’s only one option, maybe you won’t see as high of a voter turnout, or maybe the senate races get more contested.”

Nelson said both familial ties and the desire to affect positive change factored into her decision to run for president.

“My sister was vice president here at UND, so she encouraged me to run and use my voice for students,” Nelson said. “They’re paying to be here so I want to see their student fees go toward things that make a difference on campus.”

Nelson also said ensuring student safety on campus will be paramount to her platform as president.

“One of the biggest issues is ensuring students feel safe on campus,” she said. “There have been a lot of things in the news, a lot of things happening around the world, that can make it kind of scary to be on a college campus right now.”


Ferguson, who is a member of UND’s delegation to the North Dakota Student Association, said increasing participation in student organizations on campus will be a priority.

“Student organizations are a major component of making students feel welcome on campus, especially for incoming freshmen,” Ferguson said. “I’d like to see student organizations using the 'My UND' mobile app, to increase outreach and participation.”

Banish covers news pertaining to K-12 and higher education, as well as county commission coverage.
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