The election of Jackson Farley and Shannon Dawson as Residence Halls Association president and vice president was announced Friday evening at the annual RHA Ball.
Farley and Dawson, both freshmen, defeated two other slates composed of candidates James Jordan and Tom Bourneuf and Anurag Chandran and Brooke Burge. 737 students voted in the online election, which was open to all hall residents last Wednesday and Thursday. This was a slight decrease from last year’s record total of 748 votes. Farley and Dawson received 406 votes, Chandran and Burge received 182 votes and Jordan and Bourneuf received 149 votes.
“I am both shocked and honored to have been elected RHA president,” Farley said. “I am overwhelmed by the support and backing I have received from the students who have directly voted me and Shannon in. It gives me so much passion and drive to make sure students here have the best possible living experience.”
Farley, a human development and family studies major, and Dawson, an undeclared business accounting major, both held leadership positions within RHA this year. Farley was the chairman of the RHA Residential Living Committee as well as the president of Schurz Hall, and Dawson was the RHA Advocacy Committee Chair and also served on the RHA Programming Board. In addition, Farley is a member of Alternative Spring Break and Dawson is a marketing intern with the MU Athletic Department and a member of MU’s DECA chapter.
Farley and Dawson ran on the campaign platform of “Strengthening RHA from the Inside Out” and plan to work toward doing so by focusing on improving communication and relations between and among RHA members, increasing focus on sustainability, reforming RHA marketing and outreach, producing stronger programming and events and promoting diversity within the residence halls.
Farley and Dawson were able to generate a network of support strong enough to carry them to election victory.
“I think they were successful in winning the election because they were effective in reaching out to residents and formed their platform on the needs of others,” current RHA President Zack Folk said. “They both are also very involved, which I believe allowed them to make a large network of supporters for their elections. Those who knew them and voted for them had a lot of confidence in them.”
Farley and Dawson expressed praise and appreciation for the slates they ran against following the announcement.
“I almost didn’t believe it when I heard our name because the other slates ran such great campaigns as well,” Dawson said. “We all pushed each other to improve our platforms and our campaigns every day, and both slates were such hard workers and very kind and fair with us in the campaign.”
Now that the election is over, Farley and Dawson turn their attention to acquainting themselves with their positions and preparing for next year when they will officially assume them and can begin implementing their agenda.
“That process starts now,” Farley said. “We both plan on shadowing Zack Folk and Lindsay Weber to find out the logistics of being president and vice president and how to carry out our plan so we will be ready to implement our platform in the fall. “
Folk expressed a similar interest in helping Farley and Dawson transition to their new positions.
“I am very excited to see where Jackson and Shannon are going to take RHA next year,” Folk said. “I’ve seen them both grow and develop into leaders in RHA, and I hope they will take the organization much further than I could. While they are both freshman and still somewhat inexperienced, I will be working closely with them both to transition into their positions.”