MSA candidates, RHA meet to discuss issues

Topics discussed included sustainability, TigerWatch and communication between the two groups.

All three Missouri Students Association presidential candidates and their vice presidential candidates visited with 15 members of the Residence Halls Association to answer questions about their platforms Monday night.

Taylor Dukes, RHA Director of Services and Sustainability, directed questions to presidential candidate Ben Hansen and his running-mate Kaitlin Oxenreider about the sustainability aspect of their platform. One of the slate’s primary focuses is on conservation.

“In the new Student Center, during the day, there are tons of windows to let in light, we don’t need to keep the lights on,” Hansen said. “There are places on campus where it is a safety precaution to keep the lights on all of the time, but I feel that where it is possible we should keep the lights off in buildings where they are not necessary.”

MSA presidential candidate Eric Woods said his conservation efforts focused on campus dining halls.

“Dobbs has had a great success with using locally-grown beef in the dining hall,” he said. “And I hear they have the best burgers on campus.”

Another topic of discussion was TigerWatch, a campus safety program developed by MSA presidential candidate Josh Travis last semester. Horan aimed to refute any suggestion TigerWatch was a political move on Travis’ part.

“TigerWatch was slated last semester, and this semester is the first semester that it has been in use,” she said. “Josh cares so much about this campus, and his number one concern is people’s safety, and all of the people who are involved with TigerWatch do not see it as a political move at all."

RHA President Lauren Thomas brought up issues with communication between RHA and MSA.

“Fingers have been pointed at RHA in the past for lack of communication with MSA,” Thomas said. “We want our voice projected all over campus, and I would like to hear an expansion on the ideas of how MSA and RHA can communicate better.”

Horan expressed her opinion on how new leadership will come into play.

“With new leadership coming in on both sides, what happened in the past is now in the past,” Horan said.

Woods said he felt that in order for RHA and MSA to communicate most effectively, having liaisons would be ideal.

“I think getting RHA and MSA liaisons at each other’s meetings is definitely important,” Woods said. “I also think getting students involved with both organizations at once would be great.”

Ben Hansen felt similar on the idea of having liaisons at MSA and RHA meetings.

“Meetings should already be taking place,” Hansen said. “We send a liaison to the City Council meetings, but not to RHA, I think that is odd. I feel like the liaison is a start, but I also think the direct connection between the executive branch and RHA’s leadership is important so that we do not bring up the same issues.”

The candidates felt student involvement in decision-making was essential.

“I am a big proponent of student assessment, so I think the leaders of the four student governments should meet to find a way to get all students' input and find out what is most important to them,” Hansen said.

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