ASUM elects new president, TAPP and ASUM makes plans to merge

Trey Sprick, one of the founding members of Tigers Against Partisan Politics, will lead the Associated Students of the University of Missouri next year.

Junior Trey Sprick, the former Tigers Against Partisan Politics director of education, has been chosen to be the next MU campus president of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

In addition to electing a new president, ASUM and TAPP announced they will be merging under Sprick, said Camille Hosman, the Missouri Students Association legislative coordinator.

TAPP, which will be renamed Tigers Advancing Political Participation, will become the educational branch of ASUM, former ASUM Campus President Ben Levin said. TAPP’s executive board will remain a self-operating organization.

Levi said current TAPP President Zack Nolan will become the vice president of education for ASUM.

Levin said the decision to merge the two organizations started out as a conversation he had with Hosman, who co-founded TAPP along with Sprick.

Sprick and Hosman founded TAPP in February 2012. Sprick said TAPP’s mission is to educate students on political issues that impact them, which is half of ASUM’s mission.

“ASUM’s mission is … to advocate on behalf of the students of the University of Missouri and also to educate students about the issues we’re advocating,” Sprick said. “Also, to educate them about, more generally, political issues in a non-biased way.”

He added that ASUM and TAPP have already had quite a few partnerships since TAPP’s creation.

“ASUM has this dual mission, and it needs to be dedicated to the students,” Hosman said. “That is something that (the three of us) could not agree more on.”

Sprick served as TAPP president for the first year of the organization’s existence, until December 2012. He returned from studying abroad and became the director of education before becoming the new ASUM president.

“I’ve known of Trey since his sophomore year through TAPP and some of his organization’s work with (ASUM) on the More For Less campaign,” Levin said. “I think the thing that most qualifies (Sprick) is his passion for students. He’s someone that, whatever he’s doing, even school work, will find a way to relate it back to improving the student experience on campus.”

Applicants for the position were required to submit an application to Levin and were then interviewed by Levin, MSA President Mason Schara and Graduate and Professional Council President Jake Wright.

Levin said incoming GPC President Hallie Thompson and ASUM Executive Director Kaitlin Steen were also involved in the selection of Sprick.

Sprick said one of his goals, as campus president is to “de-isolate” ASUM from MU’s campus.

“In the past, ASUM has worked largely by itself,” he said.

The ASUM campus president position became an ex-officio member of the MSA executive board last fall, under MSA Senate’s Bill 53-18.

Levin said this was part of the organization’s construction of relationships with other organizations on campus, such as MSA and GPC.

In addition to building relationships with other organizations, Sprick said he hopes to also increase ASUM’s outreach to students. He said his experience with TAPP has shown him that it is very difficult to reach students with political education that makes them want to participate without just confronting them with information.

“What I hope to do as ASUM campus president is to institutionalize a more continual sharing of political information, but information that is tailored specifically to students in a way that makes that relationship between politics and students clear,” Sprick said. “That’s an incredibly difficult task, and I think that one way or another, that has to be the ASUM campus president’s goal.”

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