Mizzou College Democrats Exec Board wants to ‘promote change’

The Mizzou College Democrats hosted a State of the Union Watch party and discussed plans for the new semester.

The Mizzou College Democrats hosted a State of the Union watch party Tuesday night at The Heidelberg.

The event gave members an opportunity to meet the new executive board, including President Emily Waggoner and Vice President Syed Ejaz.

Waggoner said her interest in politics began with a summer internship.

“I worked for Sen. Claire McCaskill during the summer,” Waggoner said. “And I came to the realization that I was passionate about democratic values, which lead me to join Mizzou College Democrats.”

Similarly, Ejaz said he was motivated to join Mizzou College Democrats after interning for President Obama’s campaign.

“Although my internship was unpaid, it inspired me to get involved,” Ejaz said.

According to its website, Mizzou College Democrats is "an organization dedicated to electing Democratic officials that help advance our chief causes: economic fairness across all economic classes, real health care reform, energy and environmental reform, and social reform."

“Eventually we want to be able to lobby on a local level and promote change through government,” Ejaz said.

Ejaz said he and Waggoner are eager to work with other organizations to see what they can achieve.

“I act as a liaison with other campus organizations,” said Ejaz. “As the semester progresses, I will be the go-to member for when other organizations want to collaborate.”

Ejaz said she and Waggoner will be working together closely.

“We’re blurring the lines between president and vice president,” Ejaz said. “We're both in constant communication about the status of the organization, our goals and plans to reach those goals. We toss ideas back and forth and find ways to divide our workload. We think similarly and hope to bring dynamic leadership to the organization.” 

Waggoner said she and Ejaz met during the national speech and debate tournament and have hit it off ever since.

“Syed and I really are a balanced team,” Waggoner said. “Combined, we cover all areas of democratic interest. While I focus on ideological questions and speakers, he focuses on institutions and elected officials. It is a great partnership.”

Although Treasurer Audrey Case was unable to attend the event, both Waggoner and Ejaz said she is an important member of the team.

“Audrey is the logistics,” Ejaz said. “She figures out where things need to be, and she'll be helping us set fiscal boundaries for our projects.”

About 15 people attended the watch party, and Ejaz said the future brings a lot of opportunities to host similar events.

“We're planning on having some speakers come to campus and talk, as well as working with other organizations to hold events down the road,” Ejaz said.

One of those events is a debate hosted in collaboration with the Mizzou College Republicans.

“We, along with the College Republicans, will be hosting a debate on March 6 at 7 p.m.,” Waggoner said. “It will take place in the Walt Disney Room in Memorial Student Union. Our two organizations are joining together to show that civil discourse between the two parties is possible and optimal.”

Waggoner also said she hopes guest speakers will be to establish a better understanding of what it means to be a Democrat.

“We want to try to get speakers from local legislation to talk to us about why they became democrats because the word ‘Democrat’ is not one cookie cutter definition,” Waggoner said. “You cannot list every policy supported by a Democrat and assume every other Democrat will as well. That's something we emphasize in our administration.”

The Mizzou College Democrats will be holding events throughout the semester to attract members.

“We also have awesome Facebook and Twitter accounts,” Waggoner said. “If anyone wants to know more about the Mizzou College Democrats, they should like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.”

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