MSA presidential slates share campaign strategies in final days

Each slate had a different approach to campaigning

The Missouri Students Association election winds down this week. Here, the slates have shared the campaign strategies they have used over the course of these last four weeks.


With the MSA presidential polls opening Monday evening, the Payton Head/Brenda Smith-Lezama slate said they are campaigning harder than ever.

The slate has posted several “Ignite Mizzou” posters around campus, such as in the MU Student Center and in classrooms, and has also had several meet and greets and table events in Speakers Circle and Interlude Music.

Smith-Lezama said in addition to their other campaign strategies, she and Head have worked with businesses around Columbia.

She said business owners told them they’ve never had MSA candidates approach them about advertising.

“Our campaigning has been incredibly effective thus far, because we have done things that no other campaign has ever done before,” Smith-Lezama said.

Head/Smith-Lezama has been sponsored by several restaurants and shops in the downtown area, including Ingredient, MizzMenus, Hot Box Cookies and Sparky’s.

Any student who follows @IgniteMizzou and @IngredientCOMOon Twitter will receive a $2-off coupon, Smith-Lezama said.

A benefit to the way Head/Smith-Lezama have campaigned, they said, is reaching out to people and organizations who aren’t normally in the conversation of MSA — a core part of their platform.

“A lot of times, we reach out to those who are already familiar with MSA,” Smith-Lezama said. “(Reaching out to businesses downtown) is another way to reach out to people who aren’t necessarily already in the loop when it comes to (MSA).”


Sophomores Jordan McFarland and T.J. Hinch say their strategy in the final days of the campaign is to continue getting the word about their campaign, especially to underclassmen. “Our campaign strategy from here on out is to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” McFarland said. “We’re going to keep handing out business cards and keep having conversations with people. Our platform is in this constant state of evolution because if someone says something that’s really important and we think can be achieved, we tack it on.” They view freshmen as essential to winning the election, and McFarland says his slate is the “most fit” to represent them. “If we win freshmen, we will win,” Hinch said. “Many people view us being so young as a disadvantage, but for freshmen, I think it gives us an advantage. We’re only one year removed. Our message to freshmen is, ‘we value your voice and we want to hear from you.’ They’re the future of Mizzou.” Hinch said that’s one of the reasons their campaign is releasing their MIZYOU videos is to give students more of a voice. “We selected our platform from what we thought were the important aspects of our campus and our university,” Hinch said. “MIZYOU plays into our campaign and our tenets.” McFarland encourages every student to go to the polls and vote. “By God, vote,” McFarland said. “The next few days I’ll be skipping classes and going around to anyone on campus trying to see what’s important to them and trying to get out the vote. You don’t have to vote for me, but just vote.” McFarland says he has enjoyed the campaign. “If I could campaign every day, I would,” McFarland said. “I can’t believe it’s almost over. I love it.”


Juniors Myles Artis and Mary Cate O’Brien chose their campaign strategies based on their issues. When planning their platform, Artis said they wanted to focus on how their issues can affect all students.

“Our methodology behind our campaign is to focus on where the student need is the greatest,” O’Brien said. “We didn’t want to focus on a certain group of student. We really want to go out and work with the people.”

When choosing locations to advertise their platform, Artis and O’Brien also applied the same methodology on wanting to be inclusive and reach the general student population.

“We wanted to go to locations like Speakers Circle where the normal student would go,” O’Brien said. “We didn’t want to go specifically to any particular organization and just work through them. We wanted to go to an open, general place where all students come through.”

Artis and O’Brien have worked with the city of Columbia by talking with MSA members who deal with state and local issues about how to make campus safer. They’ve worked with MizzMenus and Hot Box Cookies to promote their campaign as well.

“We are getting our name out there so everyone can see and be informed on who is running,” Artis said.

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