Alyson Brinker

she/her/hers
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:
When I joined MEC in the fall of my freshman year, I quickly realized that it was the place for me. I have always seen music and particularly live music as a way to empathize and shrink the space between yourself and the person listening next to you. I became really passionate about MEC as an organization when I realized its unique position on campus to cultivate that environment. As coordinator I want to continue programming events that reflect the values of the student body and that champion voices often marginalized on campus as well as in broader contexts. I also see MEC’s role as an investor in the arts, and as coordinator I want to continue hosting events that support artists and bands by both providing financial support to them and by giving them a space to perform and grow.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?
I have served on MEC since my freshman year (September 2016). I’ve taken the lead role in organizing several concerts as well as helping to facilitate and support dozens of other events by MEC. In the fall of my sophomore year (2017), I became the Social Media Director for MEC, publishing all content for our social media platforms, responding to messages from the student body, and curating our public image. Having served on the committee for so many years and after holding a leadership position within it, I feel like I have developed the skill set to both imagine and execute events that support the student body. Before joining MEC, I helped manage a local twin-cities band while I was in high school, and I became an avid concert goer and fan of the DIY scene through those experiences.

Ashton Balder

He/Him/His
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:
The MEC is an incredibly influential position within the St. Olaf SGA. I’ve spent my entire life around musicians and others who are passionate about creating the best musical production they possibly can, harnessing its incredible power to bring people together and give voice to those who need to be heard. I wish to be a contributing member of this lineage and to serve my community in the way I know best by delivering the highest-quality product so that I may honor not just myself, but all those who got me to where I am today, my fellow students, and my school as a whole.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?

РWorked alongside various Minneapolis musicians 
+ Includes time in the studio and in live performances
+ As a contributing member to an ensemble, a sound tech, and even simply being an assistant

– Already have experience organizing events
+ I’ve organized several events as the head of marketing, budget management, sound tech, and MC (sometimes all within the same event)

– I have an understanding of how to reach out to other musicians
+ This means I have experience not just with collaboration, but in selling myself and my organization to draw interest

– Junior Rotarian
+ I’ve been on boards that have to brainstorm, organize plans, and present to large boards

– Years of experience across many facets of music making
+ This means I’ve been in ensembles, worked as a music director, producer (live and in the studio), sound tech, light tech, MC, and many other positions – in essence, I have a concrete understanding of many of the most important parts of the music making process, and can collaborate and communicate within sections

Aleksandr Smirnov

He/Him/His
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:
Music is an integral part of my life (I have got 12000 songs on my phone and I have listened to them all) and I wish to contribute as much as I can to the music scene on campus. I am a member of a campus band, but I would love to get more involved with the music at St Olaf.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?
I have been a musician for about 10 years now, I play guitar, piano and drums. I have been leader of multiple campus bands, since first coming to St Olaf and also I have previous experience of being coordinator at a startup business, so I have a perfect idea of what the job of coordinator entails.

Holly Smith

she/her/hers
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:
Music is an important part of my life, and something that I think works as the perfect tool to bring people together. I’m passionate about teaching others through music and having fun while doing so. In my opinion, MEC could do more to hold events and provide students with resources to host their own concerts and smaller performances, in a safe and educated manner. I would love to see a stronger sense of campus community through music, by encouraging campus bands to perform and create new music. I would also love to sponsor more interdisciplinary events, where MEC would collaborate with other SGA or student organizations to host events.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?
I have a strong knowledge base when it comes to music, as I listen to all genres. I also know many members of current campus bands personally and would be able to facilitate creating connections with them in order to arrange performances. I also have previous management and leadership experience from previous jobs– specifically, management of activities for children. While I won’t be working with that age group if elected to MEC, the same basic principles would apply, and my experience with organizing, crisis management/problem solving, and taking responsibility and initiative would definitely still apply. While I am not currently a member of MEC, I think that introducing an outside perspective would actually be quite helpful to brainstorm aspects of MEC that could be added to or changed, and I am confident that I could gain the trust and support of the current MEC members.