Two RHA election slates debate how to improve organization

Voting begins Thursday.

The Residence Halls Association presidential debate saw two different slates presenting differing ideas.

Freshmen Steven Chaffin and Brooke Wiggins are running against sophomores Lane Adams and Whitney Banker. Both slates promised plans they believe are best for RHA and residents.

Chaffin and Wiggins focused on four aspects in their campaign — reinvention, empowerment, sustainability, and outreach — while Adams and Banker focused on sponsorship, leadership and outreach.

Out of the four platforms, Chaffin said sustainability is the hardest to achieve.

“It is out of (RHA’s) control and is dealing with residential living,” Chaffin said.

To solve this problem, Chaffin suggested having open conversation with other campus organizations, such as Sustain Mizzou and Mizzou Dashboard.

However, Adams and Banker believe outreach is the hardest goal to achieve in their plan.

Although RHA is the student government for all residents and the second largest student organization on campus, Adams said students are not aware of RHA. He said a solution for this problem is to introduce freshmen to RHA at Summer Welcome or the start of the school year across campus.

“We want to be big and known now,” Banker said. “It is difficult but achievable.”

Chaffin and Wiggins are also focused on solving and adjusting the internal problems of RHA.

Chaffin said the smaller problems in the organization should be solved first, so the association can deal with bigger problems afterward. He said the process of working in RHA should be streamlined so that everyone in the association will be less stressed and the organization is more stable.

Banker disagreed to Chaffin and Wiggins’ statement that reinvention is the most important thing to be accomplished in RHA, and said the association should work with bringing students back and adjust along the way.

“We know we can fix the problems, so we should focus on the residents and less on us so they can have a bigger voice,” Banker said.

Both slates said they would still stay in RHA even if they do not win the election.

Voting begins Wednesday and ends Thursday, March 6.

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