Masinovic and Krutsinger; uplifting unheard voices

Leila Masinovic and Micaiah Krutsinger are running on the platform emphasizing academics, balance, community and diversity.

MALLORY SCHMITZ

Meet the candidates for student body president and vice president

NISG presidential running mates Leila Masinovic and Micaiah Krutsinger have a vision for the future of UNI: belonging and accessibility for people of all backgrounds.

Presidential candidate Masinovic, a fourth-year student majoring in biology, takes a very personal perspective when it comes to her ability to help the UNI community. “Just knowing that I helped at least one person would make my time here worth it. All of the hard work, everything,” she said. “That’s our main goal, to make sure that when we leave this place, we leave it a little better than when we found it.”

When Krutsinger, a second-year choral music education major and current NISG senator, approached Masinovic with the idea for her to run for student body president, Masinovic knew she had to take advantage of the opportunity. “To have somebody as strong and supportive as Micaiah to work with, I knew that we would make a very good team, and that’s what we really need.”

The pair’s campaign is founded on four core pillars they refer to as “ABCD”:

Academics: Ensuring accessibility to high-quality educational opportunities for all UNI students. 

Balance: Maintaining an internal and external balance through a focus on areas including students’ mental health and the student work-life balance.

Community: Fully embracing connections within the university and to the city of Cedar Falls.

Diversity: Creating a more supportive, accessible and accepting campus culture.

As the current NISG Director of Diversity and the president of the UNI Muslim Students Association, Masinovic specializes in the diversity category. “It means a lot to me to be able to help people of all different faiths, backgrounds, religions and cultures,” she stated. “It brings me joy.”

Krutsinger, who is running for vice president, feels very passionately about making the most of students’ time at UNI. “With me being an education major, I have a strong value for education, and I believe that no matter who you are, what you are, you should get a valuable education. Every student should be able to have a positive experience at UNI.”

To create that universal positive experience, Masinovic and Krutsinger find it important to recognize the frustrations many students currently have with the university, specifically surrounding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, employee shortages around campus, and lack of funding for specific programs. 

They hope to utilize not only their four pillars, but also their personal experiences to create change at UNI. 

With her current NISG role, Masinovic sits on a number of committees including the President’s Council for Inclusion, Transformative Social Justice & Advocacy, giving her valuable leadership experiences she feels has helped to prepare her for a role as active and involved as student body president.  

Krutsinger also serves as the campus relations chair for NISG for the senate committee and a representative of the music ensembles and conducting department of the School of Music Student Advisory Board, where he works directly with faculty to improve UNI’s music ensembles.

When asked what each of them would personally like to take away from the campaign experience, both initially answered with a single word: memories. 

However, after having more time to reflect, Masinovic added, “It’s not so much what am I going to take from it, but rather what is this community going to take from me. As in, what can I do to make sure everybody on this campus feels like they’re welcome or doesn’t feel alone or different or separated.”

Looking at the next few weeks the pair sees themselves tabling in Maucker, visiting and conversing with a variety of campus organizations and participating in debates.

As a final remark, Krutsinger urges students to take advantage of their opportunities to let their voices be heard through the voting process at all levels, local and above.

NISG elections will be held virtually starting Feb. 22 at 6 a.m. and lasting through Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. Students can cast their votes for their individual college senators and student body president on MyUNIverse during that time.