MSA presidential slates square off in final debate

The debate was hosted by The Maneater and Four Front.
Ashley Lane / Graphic Designer

The Missouri Students Association presidential slates participated in their final debate Wednesday evening before the election. The Maneater and Four Front hosted the debate.

Presidential slates Josh Travis and Michelle Horan; Eric Woods and Emily Moon; and Ben Hansen and Kaitlin Oxenreider were all present during the debate.

Slates were asked how their platforms would work through city issues that affect MU students as well as questions specific to their platforms.

Student representation and student voice in the city of Columbia were main points discussed throughout the debate.

“We (students) are here, we are a big part of this city, and we deserve to be heard,” Woods said.

Woods said the Campus and Community Relations Committee within MSA does a good job of sending representatives to city meetings, but he believes a better effort can be made.

“The main goal is to make sure we (students) are being heard in the city,” Woods said. “We need to make sure student liaisons are working with city officials and getting things done.”

Hansen and Oxenreider plan to see what information the CCRC liaison has received before beginning to install liaisons within other committees pertaining to student-related issues.

Hansen said MSA should work to lobby and petition students to register and vote in the city of Columbia so the students are sure to receive the representation needed.

Students can get lost in the mix of certain issues pertaining to the city, but Travis and Horan plan to change that, Travis said.

Travis said he plans to lobby the city council to allow a student on the Citizens Police Review Board as well as advocate for a voting student seat on the Board of Curators.

Travis said the proposition for a voting student seat on the Board of Curators will pass and he plans to bring the voting student seat to other universities within the state of Missouri.

“After that ninth seat is filled by a voting student curator, we would get the other three campuses of the university system to pose the same questions to their student bodies and get that state law changed,” Travis said.

City issues that involved student safety such as Proposition 2, a proposal to ban taser use, caused heated discussion as well.

“The fatal flaw of Proposition 2 was making it illegal for students to carry tasers,” Travis said.

Travis said tasers are a non-lethal defense mechanism that he would rather see students carry than other firearms. Hansen said he is not in favor of concealed firearms on campus.

“If I’m sitting in class and see the bulge of a gun in a student’s coat, I’m not going to feel comfortable,” Hansen said. “That person is not going to be wearing a badge that says, ‘Don’t worry, I have a permit.’”

Although Woods said he and running mate Moon are against Proposition 2, CCRC and MSA should have heard both sides of the issue before deciding against it.

“I think we shouldn’t let our views on issues affect the dynamic of a fair and balanced discussion,” Wood said. “It would have benefitted everybody to hear both sides of the argument.”

Hansen said he would like to know whether the stance MSA took on Proposition 2 really had an effect on the way MU students voted in the Nov. 2 election.

Slates agree the presidential position is more than words in a platform.

“The presidency is more than just a title, and the vice presidency is more than just filling out a budget,” Moon said.

Hansen said it doesn’t matter what goals are written down on paper if there is no one to enact those goals.

“Just vote,” Travis said. “Make sure you vote.”

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