The new Missouri Students Association President Mason Schara and Vice President Kelsey Haberberger were sworn in Thursday evening in front of friends, family and executive branch members.
This term, MU students should expect a newly revamped student government, Schara said. Under Schara and Haberberger’s platform, “Connecting Mizzou’s Stripes,” Schara said he hopes to make MSA more transparent.
“We want to make sure that all our auxiliaries and all our programs are a lot more useful for our students,” Schara said. “(These organizations) are for everyone.”
“Connecting Mizzou’s Stripes” was Schara and Haberberger’s campaign slogan. It all started when the two met during the University of Missouri Recruitment Team.
“What (the slogan) means to me is making sure all these different students ... are being heard and being talked to,” Schara said. “We want to make sure that people have the ability to communicate with us.”
This year’s inauguration was planned by the new deputy chief of staff, freshman Haden Gomez. Gomez was unable to comment, but Schara gave nothing but praise for his hard work and dedication to the event.
“(Gomez) did an amazing job,” said Schara, who planned former MSA President Nick Droege’s inauguration ceremony last year. “I can only imagine being a freshman and how stressful everything was. But he did an amazing job. I am so proud of him.”
Schara, Associated Students of the University of Missouri President Ben Levin, Legislative Coordinator Camille Hosman, Director of Student Communications Gunnar Johanson and Secretary of Auxiliaries Sandy Patel all returned to the executive branch, Droege said.
“I think that all of them have a lot of potential to make a tremendous impact on campus,” Droege said.
Likely the most change the MSA executive branch will see this term is in the Department of Student Communications under Johanson, Schara said.
“I’m reaching out and creating a more department feel,” Johanson said.
Johanson said he has a DSC team picked, including a social media coordinator, a web development coordinator and a videographer.
Under 2012 MSA President Xavier Billingsley, DSC was very press-heavy, Schara and Johanson said. Under Droege, the department was more marketing and social media-directed.
“I’m hoping to combine the two … and take the best of both worlds that I’ve experienced and bring them together for hopefully a really great, reformed department,” Johanson said.
Five of the 10 executive members are new to MSA’s executive branch. These members include Gomez, Director of Student Services Zack Folk, Director of Student Activities Chelsea Fricker, Chief of Staff Myles Artis and Chief Diversity Officer Victoria Yu.
Yu’s position existed 10 years ago but was omitted from MSA’s executive branch. Droege attempted to bring someone in during his term but was unsuccessful, Schara said.
“This (position) is going to be a really good avenue for us to have an open line of communication for all of these different people and make sure that their voice is being heard,” Schara said.
Each MSA branch member has goals for this term to make MSA more accessible resource for students.
“It’s MSA, the big student body government,” Artis said. “And just by that, students feel a disconnection.”
Artis’ biggest goal as chief of staff is making a stronger connection between MSA and the MU student body.
“We are their government,” he said. “If we reiterate the fact that we are just like (them), then we hope that they can approach us and be willing to work with us.”
Schara said MU’s student body will experience a much stronger connection with MSA. With Artis, Schara is working on meeting monthly with the presidents of all MU academic college student councils.