Former MSA presidential candidate Jordan McFarland resigns from position as RHA justice

McFarland: “I've loved working for and with the Residence Halls Association. As time has moved, so too have my interests and now I shall shift my focus once again.”

Justice Jordan McFarland resigned from his position in the Residence Halls Association on Nov. 30, a position which one usually maintains for the entirety of their undergraduate career at MU.

McFarland’s resignation comes two weeks after he lost his second election for Missouri Students Association president. This year, he ran with junior Jonathan Segers on the “Back to Basics” platform.

“It has been five semesters in RHA, I've served as Hatch President, Advocacy Chair and as a Justice,” McFarland said in a statement. “I've loved working for and with the Residence Halls Association. As time has moved, so too have my interests and now I shall shift my focus once again. I am thankful for my time and experiences in RHA and I am excited to see the organization move forward.”

Members of the RHA executive board are not at liberty to discuss any terms of resignation as stated in RHA bylaws, Chief Justice Garrett Wilt said. However, members of the RHA executive cabinet said that McFarland’s resignation could have a noticeable effect on the way the judicial board operates.

“It’s always good to have a lot of more senior members as justices, but I think it will be fine,” Speaker of Congress Alex Johar said. “It’s kind of a year of turnover because most of the justices are older, which means they have less time left. In fact, it might be better to have a lot more younger (justices) that can continue on for the next couple of years.”

After McFarland left his position, two former RHA representatives are preparing to fill the vacant positions. McFarland’s resignation leaves four justices on the judicial board for the remainder of the semester until two newly elected justices take their positions on the board come spring 2016.

Justices Kyle Roberts and Mustafa Munir will fill two open spots on the judicial board, leaving one vacant position. At any time, the judicial board is permitted by RHA bylaws to have no more than seven and no fewer than three justices.

While having a nearly full board can be a good thing, Wilt said, there are potential problems with filling an even number of positions.

“Sometimes in our judicial meetings when we have an even number, whenever we have to take an official vote on things, that could become problematic,” Wilt said. “We haven’t had a split vote this year.”

The new justices will take their positions and start planning for the next RHA executive board elections. Justices play a vital role in the election process.

“The justices have the job of making sure that all of the election rules are followed, kind of like the BEC for MSA elections,” Johar said. “They also make decisions on infractions and they can make the decision on whether or not someone can be disqualified; so they have a big role to play, especially in the spring.”

For new justices, this round of elections will be a learning process.

“They’ll learn the ropes and what a justice does over time,” Wilt said. “It’s not a terribly difficult thing to pick up, but that first meeting when we have our new justices in, they’ll be still getting a feel for things. (That meeting will) probably occur at the end of January.”

Justices Roberts and Munir will not only play a large role in the upcoming election but will also be involved members of RHA for years to come.

“You’re a justice until you are academically deceased or you choose to resign,” Wilt said. “You’re a justice for your academic life, more or less.”

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