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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two slates running in 2014 RHA election

Each candidate already has a position within RHA.

Freshmen Steven Chaffin and Brooke Wiggins pose for a portrait on Tuesday, Feb. 18 on the Lowry Mall.

Michael Cali /Senior Staff Photographer

Sophomores Lane Adams and Whitney Banker pose for a portrait on Tuesday, Feb. 25 on the Francis Quadrangle.

Mike Krebs/Senior Staff Photographer

Feb. 26, 2014

Lane Adams and Whitney Banker

Sophomore Lane Adams said he was interested in running for Residence Halls Association president at the beginning of the year.

After choosing Laws Hall resident and fellow sophomore Whitney Banker as his running mate, Adams said he felt he was ready to lead RHA in the right direction.

“We are really involved in residence halls,” Adams said. “(We have) a lot of leadership positions, and we feel like we can definitely do better for the RHA.”

Adams is currently the RHA speaker of congress, and Banker is the marketing coordinator.

Banker said she wants to work with other organizations to promote RHA.

“There are so many students that live in the residence halls,” Banker said. “We think the bigger programs we take on, the more we work with other big organizations on campus, the better we can represent the large portion of students.”

Adams said he will work during the summer to encourage incoming freshmen to join RHA.

“Studies have shown over and over again that when residents are involved with their campus, they stay here, they like their campus better, and they end up loving Mizzou,” Adams said.

As Adams and Banker’s opponents are freshmen, Adams and Banker said being sophomores is a “double-edged sword.”

“We are experienced in RHA and in leadership positions at the university level, and I think that makes us really competitive being sophomores,” Adams said.

Adams said he is a Department of Residential Life student staff member, and Banker is a resident.

“We have both ends of it,” Banker said, explaining that Adams knows the behind-the-scenes aspects as a staff member while she is representative of the residents.

Steven Chaffin and Brooke Wiggins

Freshman Steven Chaffin, formerly of The Maneater staff, and his running mate, freshman Brooke Wiggins, have numerous goals to address in their run to become the Residence Halls Association president and vice president.

These goals include reaching out to more residents, creating an organized financial system and raising people’s awareness of RHA.

For Chaffin, these ideas began months ago.

“I started thinking about running for the election very early, since last November,” said Chaffin, current RHA financial coordinator.

He said Wiggins told him to keep her in mind when he needed a running mate for the vice president, and he did.

“We are complements for each other,” said Wiggins, RHA program coordinator.

Now, the two want to work together to improve RHA. Chaffin focuses more on the small details, and Wiggins focuses on planning.

“There are many people looking down on RHA, but it is a great organization that has done many things,” Wiggins said. “We want to let more people know about us.”

Chaffin also pointed out the lack of planning of spending in the organization.

“As the financial coordinator, I realized that the organization was spending loosely,” Chaffin said.

He then cut the budget by $7,000 to be used for outreach to students.

Although their opponents are sophomores, Chaffin and Wiggins said they are confident because the majority of residents in the residence halls are freshmen, and they felt they could relate to them better.

“Being younger is an advantage here,” Wiggins said. “We know the residents’ needs, and we have clear plans for them.”

They said they work as a team for everything.

“Often, Steven will come up with an idea, and he will let me criticize it,” Wiggins said. “We also have a great team of campaign staff whom we will discuss the plans with.”

Chaffin said criticisms from everyone, especially the residents, are always welcome, as residents are the ones who shape their agenda.

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