Former MSA chief of staff dismissed due to “professional differences”

Barnes served as interim chief of staff since June and was confirmed on Sept. 9.

Junior Kelcea Barnes was dismissed from the chief of staff position of the Missouri Students Association during the week of Oct. 5.

MSA Vice President Brenda Smith-Lezama and Co-Director of Student Communications David Wallace both wrote in separate emails that Barnes was “dismissed from the MSA Executive Cabinet because of professional differences.”

Barnes was appointed interim chief of staff for the summer term under MSA President Payton Head and Smith-Lezama’s leadership on June 4. When former chief of staff Cara Hartwig did not return to the position for the fall semester, Barnes was confirmed as the chief of staff during full Senate on Sept. 9.

Kelcea Barnes wrote in an email that her departure was a “joint decision.”

“My involvement and activism is much more suited for the Social Justice Committee then (sic) chief of staff,” Barnes wrote. “I enjoyed my time serving alongside Payton and other gifted students from June until now. My mental and emotional health alongside my academic future is something that I need to focus on. As anyone would tell you, I was an asset and strategic addition to the team. I look forward to serving the student body in other facets.”

According to the MSA bylaws, Chapter 1.30, the “President shall appoint a person as an assistant to the President who shall serve in a capacity of Chief of Staff.” The only requirement is he or she shall maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

MSA will “not be bringing a new person to fill the position in an official capacity,” Wallace wrote in an email.

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