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Letter to the Editor: MSA needs to dream big

Nov. 5, 2010

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I noticed something peculiar yesterday. I noticed that a student had posted something on our favorite social networking website about next week's MSA Presidential election. The student didn't endorse a specific candidate, but stated that in his opinion, supporting Woods-Moon or Hansen-Oxenreider would be a good decision. This struck me particularly because at Wednesday's Presidential debate I noticed how many times I heard Eric Woods or Ben Hansen saying, "I agree with Ben" or "I agree with Eric" respectively. With so many good vibes going between the two slates one wonders why they didn't decide to run on the same ticket. In all seriousness though, what is the third slate, Travis-Horan, missing out on here? After researching all three platforms thoroughly the answer resonates loudly in my mind: sensible approaches to substantive issues. I've heard a lot from Woods-Moon and Hansen-Oxenreider about "practicality" so far this campaign season, but what does that really mean? When I look through the Travis-Horan platform I see goals including an online syllabus archive for students as well as lobbying for a voting student curator and a student representative to the City of Columbia's Citizens Police Review Board. Why do the other slates avoid such important issues? Rather than offer input or solutions on these issues and other issues of weight, they accuse Travis-Horan of pipe dreaming, one slate even writing "We do not have grand visions that will change the University forever because we believe Mizzou is generally heading in the right direction." As a student I was puzzled when I read these words. Why wouldn't I cast my vote for the slate offering big ideas? Why would I settle for less? As the MSA Senate Speaker, I was insulted when I read these words. I've worked in MSA since 2008 and advocated for policy changes at the Campus, City, State and Federal level — each time with success. During a number of those endeavors I had Josh Travis or Michelle Horan at my side, supporting the same cause. I refuse to be told that MSA cannot have a lasting impact on the University; to the contrary I believe it is our purpose as student government. As your Senate Speaker I will continue to fight on the tough issues regardless of the outcome of this election, I will continue to dream. As a student I will vote for the slate that will fight alongside me on these tough issues, and I hope that come Nov. 9, you will join me.

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