Frequently asked questions for upcoming MSA election

Here are the top six things you need to know for the upcoming MSA election.

For those who don’t keep up with the happenings of the Missouri Students Association by attending its meetings or reading The Maneater’s coverage, the current election may bring up a lot of questions.

The election starts April 16, so you may be thinking that it’s too late to learn about MSA or the inner workings of the election process. Here are a few answers to questions you may have about the upcoming MSA election.

1. Why should I care?

MSA currently controls $1.2 million. While the cutting of the Department of Student Activities and various auxiliaries will decrease this number next year, the budget will stay in the high figures. Also, student fees still cover the budget. MSA currently controls three auxiliaries ( STRIPES, Tiger Pantry and Truman’s Closet) but voted to remove several of them in Senate April 11.

MSA is also the first place administrators turn to when they want to hear students’ opinions on major administrative decisions. It is in charge of various initiatives on campus such as the smoking policy and the bikeshare program.

2. What is the process to run for MSA president and vice president?

In order to be placed on the ballot, candidates must fill out seven forms and gather 500 student signatures. The first form covers the student signatures, and it was due March 22. The second and third forms were due on March 23 and covered eligibility and campaign manager choice. The remainder of the forms are turned in throughout the campaigning process and cover general campaigning and finance information.

The filing date for the previous campaigning period was March 1, but it had to be moved due to the suspension of the election. Once controversial tweets were uncovered, three candidates dropped, and MSA senate decided that voting on only slates with one candidate each constituted an unfair election.

3. Who is running in the election?

The slates are Robert Schmidt and Alp Kahveci and Julia Wopata and Connor McAteer.

Wopata and McAteer are running under the platform of “More to Roar,” and the Schmidt and Kahveci platform is “Mizzou for You.”

Only one of the candidates has experience in MSA. McAteer served in MSA as an academic business senator.

4. What is the Board of Elections Commissioners and what role does it play in the election?

The BEC is the overseer of MSA elections. Joseph Sell is the chair and Cooper Grant is the vice chair.

“Members of the Board are primarily charged with writing the rules and regulations governing the Presidential and Senatorial Elections and ensuring that the elections happen in a fair and open manner,” according to the MSA website. “The BEC is also capable of hosting debates and other opportunities for students to learn about their prospective representatives.”

The BEC will receive and review all forms that slates have to turn in each week and oversee all campaign finance efforts of the candidates. It is also in charge of handling potential controversies regarding the election.

5. What does the campaigning process look like?

Campaigning began on March 26. Slates published their websites and social media accounts before the debate. In past years, candidates have set up tables in Speakers Circle, where they have reached out to students and advertised their campaigns.

Candidates are required to participate in the BEC-hosted debate and highly encouraged to participate in other debates. This year, there were two debates. The first debate was hosted by BEC and Four Front on April 9. The second debate was hosted by The Maneater on April 12.

Polls open April 16 at 6 p.m. and close April 18 at 6 p.m. The winner will be announced on April 18 at Traditions Plaza following the closing of polls.

6. What happened with the last election?

The MSA election was originally set to be held March 21. However, after candidates from each slate dropped out of the race, the election was suspended. MSA senate bill 57-45 called for the suspension of the election and a special election.

Edited by Skyler Rossi | srossi@themaneater.com

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