The Maneater

Former MSA presidential candidate Syed Ejaz denied as Operations chairman

Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said he intends to invite Ejaz for another interview with the committee.

The Missouri Students Association Operations Committee denied junior Syed Ejaz as Operations chairman the evening of Jan. 18, citing Ejaz’s lack of knowledge about the Operations Committee and the MSA Bylaws.

The committee was also concerned about the potential for bias from Ejaz as a former presidential candidate during the 2015 election season. He placed second to President-elect Haden Gomez.

“I want to make sure what happened to us (in the past election) doesn’t happen again,” Ejaz said.

The Operations committee appointed senior Katie Rogers as interim chairwoman. She is scheduled to oversee the confirmations of the Gomez/Hanner executive cabinet.

“There is some worry that he is only doing this out of some kind of vengeance,” Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said after the meeting. “But I’ve worked with him for over a year now and that’s not what I‘ve seen of him.”

During the meeting, Ejaz admitted to his lack of experience with the Operations Committee, but pointed to his experience as a candidate in MSA’s last presidential election as grounds for understanding the MSA’s Bylaws.

“When I ran for president, I got to experience the bylaws in a way that I don’t think many people do when they participate in MSA,” Ejaz told the committee.

Ejaz said in an interview before the meeting that he had planned on focusing his efforts toward reforming MSA’s election process and judicial system. He emphasized the selection of new justices as a primary concern.

“I want to make sure what happened to us (in the past election) doesn’t happen again,” Ejaz said.

During the presidential election, several major and minor infractions were issued to both Ejaz’s campaign and Gomez’s campaign. The delayed ruling on a major infraction against Gomez caused the election to be postponed 24 hours.

Former Operations Committee Chairman Dan Paterson said he was surprised by the committee's decision but praised the board for its detailed evaluation of Ejaz.

“I understood what concerns were raised,” Paterson said. “I’m glad the Operations Committee is not hesitant in their discussions and expectations for each position.”

The Operations Committee’s decision does not necessarily mean Ejaz will not become the next chairman. Carr said he intends to invite Ejaz for another interview with the committee.

“I think that (Syed is) the right choice and I think that for people who have a vision and aim for this association, there’s not anyone you would find with a better one,” Carr said. “He wouldn’t come back to the same organization that he didn’t win president (or) vice president of if he didn’t have a genuine interest in helping students.”

Ejaz declined to comment further following the meeting.

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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