LBC holds presidential candidate debate

Candidates discussed issues such as diversity awareness and Black Homecoming.

The Legion of Black Collegians presidential candidates participated in a debate Wednesday at the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center for its elections next week.

Presidential slates Korian Harrington/Simone McGautha and Cameron Grant/Greer Relphorde were present. At the start of the debate, each slate discussed its platform and its plans to maintain visibility as a student government.

“We want to help the Mizzou black community network with each other,” Relphorde said. “At the bare minimum, we want to be able to ask anyone on campus about LBC, and they can tell us.”

This visibility was crucial to both slates, which have plans for implementing new practices.

“At the beginning of the year, we’d like to do a brunch for the new freshmen,” McGautha said. “(We would) invite different organizations and get the freshmen to see what’s out there so they can start getting involved right away.”

Harrington also explained a guidebook he and McGautha hope to create that would help more minority freshmen get adjusted to life on campus.

“We want it to say where to get your hair cut or where to go to church,” Harrington said. “That way, they get more comfortable living on campus.”

The slates’ views differed when it came to handling Black Homecoming next year.

Harrington-McGautha would develop an inclusive calendar to give people the opportunity to decide beforehand which Homecoming events to attend.

“As long as we still vote to have it or until you (members) feel differently, we will continue to have Black Homecoming activities,” McGautha said.

Grant-Relphorde felt no changes should be made.

“Black royalty and the Homecoming ball are traditions that we must continue to have,” Relphorde said. “We can keep it this way so that both sides of campus know what is going on.”

Grant-Relphorde wants LBC to participate in the parade and have a float.

Each slate talked about ways to help improve LBC and unite the campus community.

“We (Harrington-McGautha) would have a freshman action team to reach out to our people of color so they can recognize LBC,” McGautha said. “It takes plenty of effort, everyone is important.”

Grant-Relphorde offered an idea to revamp the Senate meetings.

“We can change the structure of our business meetings, make them more interactive, so people feel more welcome,” Grant said. “It would be a lot more fun if you could actively participate.”

Both slates are focused on advocating for diversity on campus. They also feel they are in the right position to make positive changes.

“LBC gives a voice on campus, it speaks for the minority,” Relphorde said. “We want to continue to advocate for a more diverse faculty.”

Harrington-McGautha agreed LBC needs to work toward diversifying themselves and keeping strong connections with administrators.

“You need to have a friendship with them first and connect,” Harrington said. “That way you can work together.”

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