The Missouri Students Association elected Budget Committee chairwoman Mckenzie Morris as Senate Speaker Wednesday night during full Senate. Morris won with 86 percent of the vote.
Morris will begin her term on March 6.
Three other MSA senators, Matt Kalish, Gabby Rodriguez and David Wettroth, ran against Morris.
Morris won with 43 out of 50 total votes. Kalish received five votes, Rodriguez received two votes and Wettroth received zero votes.
Morris said she wants to focus on representing the views of students.
“We’re all here to build our resumes, but ultimately we’re here to represent the students,” she said to Senate. “That’s why they’re not sitting in these seats – we are.”
She said she wants to advocate for services, not just the association, reach out more on campus and meaningfully impact students.
Morris said she also wants to provide incentives to stimulate senators’ involvement.
She said she wants to focus on planning properly to achieve goals. One way she said she plans to accomplish this is by getting committees to work with each other on projects to put forth the best services for students.
Operations Committee chairman Ben Bolin spoke to Senate before the election. He said Morris was the best candidate for speaker.
Bolin said she is not afraid to oppose public opinion, using the example of Morris’ opposition to the smoking ban at MU in March 2012.
“Morris gave a speech in negation, saying, ‘I believe there are students who are not getting their voices heard,'” Bolin said.
Former Budget Committee chairman Clark Maynard also spoke to Senate about Morris.
“You want a leader, who at the end of the day, provides better services and better leadership for students,” he said.
Morris will be taking over for Jake Sloan, who has held the position for two terms.
Sloan will begin transitioning responsibilities to Morris next week.
Sloan began saying goodbye and thank you to Senate Wednesday.
“It is difficult for me to put into words my four years here,” he said.
Sloan said his favorite memories as speaker include increasing the number of senators and the various projects that MSA helped begin, including SWIPES and Bike Share.
Sloan urged Senate to continue taking risks and push for great things.
“I hope I left Senate in a better place...so Mckenzie (Morris) can push it to a place I’ve never seen it,” he said.