Maneater Long Reads: Leadership Culture

There's a perceived overlap in student leadership positions, but the explanation is more complicated than favoritism, and programs are working to bring equality to their hiring processes.

A stack of gold MU name tags.

When sophomore Lauren Russ began the Summer Welcome leader application process last December, she heard rumors regarding MU’s “leadership elite.”

This privileged group is composed of leaders of well-known programs such as Summer Welcome, Tour Team, the Alumni Association Student Board and the Missouri Students Association.

“They say once you get in to Summer Welcome or Tour Team, then basically you can get into anything,” Russ said.

All four organizations have different but significant purposes: Summer Welcome orients incoming freshmen to the university, Tour Team promotes MU to visiting students and families, AASB connects students with alumni and MSA is the student voice in charge of a $1.6 million budget.

In Russ’s opinion, there is an unspoken understanding at MU that power on campus is attained by what many regard as a foolproof method of strategy and connection within these organizations.

“The reputation of MU falls on the performance of these programs and jobs,” sophomore Christopher Dade, a member of both AASB and Tour Team, said.

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