The Missouri Students Association is beginning a year of new leadership and new direction in its executive positions and Senate chairman positions.
At full Senate on Wednesday, MSA Chief Justice Bailey Otto swore in MSA President Nick Droege and Vice President Zach Beattie. Both were elected Nov. 7.
The Senate also approved Droege and Beattie’s cabinet nominations unanimously. The Senate confirmed Sam Green as legislative advocacy officer, Joey Greenstein as director of student activities, Jimmy Hibsch as director of student communications, Sean Joy as department of student services, Mahir Khan as secretary of auxiliaries and Mason Schara as chief of staff.
The Senate’s approval followed a more than 2 1/2-hour Operations Committee meeting Tuesday in which senators interviewed the cabinet nominees.
“They have been grilled and we 100 percent back each one of them,” Operations Committee Chairman Ben Bolin said.
Other transitions are occurring in Senate as well.
To begin his position as chief of staff, Schara resigned as the Campus and Community Relations Committee chairman. The Senate approved Alyssa Noce as his replacement.
Academic Affairs chairman Ben Levin announced his resignation as well. Levin will serve as an advisor to the executive cabinet and assume the legislative advocacy officer position when Green graduates.
Applications for Academic Affairs chairman close Friday.
Senate Speaker Jake Sloan is also at the end of his second term. Nominations for the next Senate Speaker will begin next Wednesday and the selected speaker will take over on March 6.
The new leaders expect to impact the current direction of MSA.
“We are definitely trying to stay true to all our campaign promises,” Droege said. “A large part of our campaign is focusing on socioeconomic issues students are having.”
Droege, Beattie and their cabinet have already begun work on a $500 emergency loan program and business attire lending program, two of their campaign programs.
Droege appointed Green as the legislative advocacy officer, the newest cabinet position. Green said she plans to push the legislative advocacy platform forward by working with the Associated Students of MU and developing a team of legislative advocates with Levin.
Greenstein said he plans to make the Department of Student Activities a close group, focusing on large events that draw many students and events that impact a smaller audience. He also plans to engage members of the Greek community.
“To say I’m excited is an understatement,” Greenstein said to the Senate. ”I practically live (at the MSA offices) already.”
Hibsch said his focus as director of student communications is to spread awareness of MSA by utilizing contacts he made as a staffer at The Maneater and other organizations.
Joy is taking over Droege’s previous position as director of student services. Joy said he will work with Droege on implementing the business attire lending program. He said he also wants to help international students and students with disabilities to get involved on campus.
“I want to make sure everyone on this campus has a voice,” Joy said to the Senate.
Khan already has connections with the auxiliary directors and there will be little transition from Lauren Damico, the former director of auxiliaries, Droege said.
The chief of staff’s direction typically changes from year to year because it has few defined roles beyond aiding the MSA president. This year, Schara said he plans to improve relations between MSA and other organizations such as the Legion of Black Collegians and Four Front.
New leaders in the Senate are also producing new ideas.
MSA Senate Speaker Jake Sloan and former CCRC chairman Schara selected Noce as the next CCRC chair. Noce said she wants to continue projects CCRC already started, while also starting new projects, one being a CCRC focus project.
“Leadership changes are always going to bring some kind of change,” Droege said. “The positive aspect of it is its allowing new people to step up and prove themselves.“
Despite the changes in leadership, there will be a focus on uniting the branches of MSA.
“What we are really trying to do is gauge and set our priorities not just as execs, not just as a senate, but as a collective MSA,” Droege said.