Missouri Students Association Senator Mitch Moonier filled the vacancy of Student Affairs Chairman when he was confirmed in early October.
Moonier has been an MSA senator since last September and was initially attracted to the Student Affairs Committee when he was first elected, he said. The committee’s large membership, however, dissuaded him from joining, and he instead partook in the Academic Affairs Committee, of which he said he quickly loved being a part.
After spending a year as a part of the committee, the chairmanship of Student Affairs became vacant when former chairman Connor Hickox stepped down earlier this semester. Moonier seized the opportunity and applied, he said.
“I actually just wanted to do something kind of new, and I thought I had a couple good ideas and saw the opportunity,” Moonier said.
Senate Speaker McKenzie Morris chose Moonier over several other competitive applicants, she said during a speech given to the MSA Operations Committee. Given the large and diverse crowd of senators in Student Affairs, Moonier has the ability to guide them while maintaining productivity and progress, she said.
Guiding that large and diverse membership of Student Affairs has pros and cons, Moonier said. The diversity of opinions within the committee is a benefit, but maintaining a balance where everyone’s voice is heard can be a challenge, Moonier said.
To achieve that balance, Moonier said he must value each and every opinion of the members he is now guiding.
“I know everyone has great ideas they want to work on and things they have to say,” Moonier said.
Part of what Moonier changed when he first entered the position was to wipe the committee’s slate clean of ideas and start afresh. A mental health awareness fair is one new idea Moonier has helped bring to the table.
“We see across the country recently that mental health is a prevalent issue, and I’m not in doubt that it is a prevalent issue here at Mizzou,” Moonier said. “There’s just a silent majority of people who are still not comfortable talking about it, and that’s what we want to do.”
Other new ideas include a new system to gauge student opinion of MSA using whiteboards, having the career center critique interviews done online and revamping the MU map system in order to make them more visible.
Moonier’s goal by the end of the month is to have each member have one individual project they can call their own, he said.
Besides ideas, Moonier has also brought different methods to his committee meetings. His first week marked the first joint committee between Student and Academic Affairs.
The joint committee was pushed by Moonier because of the overlap the two committees tend to have, he said. Having the two meet allows them to find events they can both participate in, particularly the International Teaching Assistant Program event that occurs once a semester.
With ideas in mind and a clear path he wants to take, Moonier said he hopes to stay on task the rest of the semester.
“So far as a committee, I think it’s been successful,” Moonier said. “I’ve had numerous committee members come up and say they’re pretty excited about what’s going on.”