At the Sept. 19 Missouri Students Association Senate meeting, Roshaunda McLean was elected president of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.
According to its website, ASUM’s mission is to advocate and lobby for student interests while educating students on the importance of involvement in government.
At the Senate meeting, McLean spoke about her voter registration and voter education plan, as well as her hopes to get more students involved in ASUM. She also talked about her experience as president of Mizzou Change Today and her internship with Missouri Sen. Robin Wright Jones, D-5.
MSA Senator and Maneater staffer Ben Levin spoke on McLean’s behalf at the meeting, citing her enthusiasm and involvement.
“Roshaunda, first and foremost, brings a ton of energy and a lot of passion and motivation,” Levin said. “She is the reason that we have registered thousands and thousands of students to vote in the last couple of weeks. If she can bring even half as much enthusiasm to everything else as she brought to that, ASUM is going to have the best year it’s had in a long time.”
McLean joined ASUM last March and has since helped to build up the organization and publicize it. Because this year is an election year, she has registration tables organized four times per week around campus. At these tables, students can register to vote in Missouri, which will allow them to vote on campus on Nov. 6, rather than leaving campus or voting by absentee ballot.
“I am extremely excited about being elected,” McLean said. “It means a lot to me because I have a chance to make a huge impact by getting students to the voting booths on Election Day. The fact that I was elected during an election year is huge. I am able to educate students through different events.”
In the coming year, she has numerous events planned to help educate students. On Sept. 26, ASUM and Omega Psi Phi are sponsoring an event called “Let Me See You Vote,” which will allow students to talk about social issue, education, women’s issues, healthcare reform and LGBTQ issues. Many other seminars and panels are planned throughout the year.
McLean said she is also looking to build a campus structure for ASUM this year. She is recruiting students to serve on the executive board and to become members. She said she is aiming to give ASUM a stronger voice on campus.
“In addition to being excited about being elected, I am very optimistic about the future of ASUM,” McLean said. “Adding a campus structure in addition to the legislative side of ASUM gives it a much greater chance for students to get politically active and to have their voices heard.”
McLean said it is important for students to understand politics and to be prepared for when they leave college.
“It’s really important because, a lot of times, when we’re at the university, we are exiled from the real world,” McLean said. “Politics affect our everyday lives and our everyday happenings. It’s really important for us to get active now so when we get out of this comfort zone, we are in a state that we feel comfortable striving in.”