Former MSA presidential slate to run on their own separate tickets

The pair cited different approaches but said the split was friendly.

The first slate to announce its candidacy for the Missouri Students Association presidential election has split into two separate campaigns.

Former running mates Phyllis Williams and Jordan Paul cited their different approaches to the campaign as a reason for the split.

"After the first few campaign meetings I realized we didn't really have the same approach in mind," said Paul, director of the Missouri Students Association Department of Student Services. "The split was very amiable, there are no hard feelings. We both trust each other's integrity."

Williams, former Academic Affairs Committee chairwoman, said in a statement the pair share respect for each other but have different ideas about policy initiatives that made them question the state of their slate.

"After careful consideration, I have selected a new exceptionally qualified running mate whose ideas are more closely aligned with the approach I would like to take during this election cycle," Williams said.

Williams' campaign manager Clint Birdsong declined to name Williams' running mate until Williams gets back to Columbia from a weekend at home.

Williams and Paul first considered running together in the spring semester of 2008 and began meeting as part of the same campaign at the start of this school year, Paul said.

Paul said he believes he is the most capable candidate because of his experience in the last two MSA presidents' cabinets.

"I looked at who was qualified in the organization, and because of my skill set and my experience I feel I'm the best choice," Paul said. "I have relationships throughout the administration at almost every level. There is no learning curve to worry about."

As DSS director, Paul's duties include communicating with several organizations, including STRIPES, the Craft Studio and others to make sure they run effectively. He also holds a seat on the Chancellor's Campus Safety Committee and manages the MU readership program that supplies free newspapers to students around campus.

"We extended the readership program through the summer for the first time this summer," Paul said. "It's been really well-received."

While acting as MSA academic affairs committee chairwoman, Williams has worked with organizations such as the Associated Students of the University of Missouri to craft and pass MSA legislation about textbook prices, Birdsong said.

So far, Paul has declined to reveal specifics of his campaign. However, he said two of his main issues will be campus safety and sustainability.

Williams plans to announce her running mate as well as their platform as soon as she returns from Chicago next week, Birdsong said.

"I fully intend to continue to pursue my platform objectives and have renewed my commitment to running an efficient and productive campaign," Williams said. "I am confident that my decision will serve the best interests of the student body."


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