MSA lacks answers on elected senators who didn’t run for a seat
MSA Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said he had never seen this happen and did not know how the student’s information was submitted.
Jan. 18, 2016
Junior journalism student and former Maneater staffer Mike Krebs received an unexpected surprise the first day of the Missouri Students Association senatorial election.
“A friend was voting on the first day of the elections, and he said, ‘Hey, are you running for senator?’ and I said, ‘no,’” Krebs said. “I didn’t know anything about it. I looked on the ballot, and sure enough my name was on the list (of candidates for my academic college).”
Krebs was one of five candidates in the MSA Spring Academic Election who said they did not sign themselves up to run. Trevor Mandy, Kenzie Jones, John Rhea and Mackinlee Rogers all said that they did not enter the election. Krebs, Mandy, Jones and Rhea were all elected. Mandy and Krebs both said they intended to keep their elected seat, but Jones and Rhea said they unsure if they would keep the position.
“I don't know why someone would send in an application for another person, but after the election this year, I think we've all learned that pretty much anything is possible,” Board of Elections Commissioners Chairwoman Emma Henderson said.
MSA representatives don’t know how they were entered into the election. All candidates interviewed said they did not know either.
“I asked all of the usual suspects, good friends of mine, and they said, ‘no, I wish I did that, it sounds funny,’ but none of them did,” Krebs said.
MSA Senate Speaker Kevin Carr said he had never seen this happen and did not know how the student’s information was submitted. The current sign-up form through Wufoo does not require a PawPrint to log on.
“I think that’s a problem because we don’t use a secure login that is student-specific to ensure that the student who is registering is the person who is signed up for the seat,” he said.
Board of Elections Commissioners Chairwoman Emma Henderson pointed out that many of the applications were submitted last summer or spring and said candidates may have forgotten applying.
“I don't think that's a plausible explanation, because Kevin Carr, my mentor for the Chancellor's Leadership Class, showed me the form that was filled out,” Rogers said. “I honestly have never seen it in my life.”
Krebs also said he did not think he could have forgotten filling out an application.
Henderson said she could not speculate whether those candidates actually submitted their information themselves.
“I don't know why someone would send in an application for another person, but after the election this year, I think we've all learned that pretty much anything is possible,” she said.
Carr said he did not think the election of the four senators who said they did not sign up to run would cause a problem for the organization.
“Something that I have said before is that we can teach people MSA,” he said. “That’s pretty easy. What we can’t teach people is to care about the community.”
At the time of the interview, he said he could not speculate whether the potential election of candidates who did not intend to run could have crowded out candidates with a real interest. He said using OrgSync to host the application form could fix the security issue, as it would require applicants to sign in with their PawPrint.
He urged people not to try to place blame on any single person or body, saying that the BEC and Senate shared responsibility for the correct administration of the election. Henderson said “only one or two” of the five candidates contacted her.
“I was never contacted by the other four or five other people who claim their names were never submitted,” she said. “It would be difficult for me to do anything about the issue if I wasn't made aware of it.”
Edited by Waverly Colville.