MSA presidential slates work to be accountable to students
The three slates want to fulfill their campaign promises.
Oct. 23, 2012
Each of the three Missouri Students Association presidential slates has plans to keep promises to student voters and remain accountable if elected.
Accountability has been a central part of the Droege/Beattie campaign.
“(Accountability) started in the development of our platform,” Droege said. “We were making goals we could promise to the student body.”
These goals include their $500 emergency loan program and business-attire lending program. The two candidates have already discussed implementing these programs with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs and Aaron Cook, coordinator of recruitment and retention at the College of Business.
Droege said, along with the previous two programs, he and Beattie have discussed other campaign goals with administrators, students and student organizations.
“You’ll notice that the things we’ve placed in our platform, we’ve done a lot of research on,” Beattie said. “I think you can see that in the details we have in our platform. It’s not just one big, vague statement of what we want to do.”
Beattie said he and Droege can hold each other and their future cabinet accountable, something they have already been doing throughout the campaign.
“Zach (Beattie) and I are good friends, and we’re not afraid to talk to each other if someone is doing something wrong, (and) we’re always asking each other what we can do better,” Droege said.
Droege said the conversations they have had with each other and with administrators about their goals make them different from the other presidential/vice-presidential slates.
“It says something when you can back (those campaign promises) up and prove that this is something that can be accomplished,” said Jimmy Hibsch, their campaign manager and former Maneater staffer.
Maass and Catalano said accountability is an important part of their campaign.
Maass said they place a high importance on accountability and transparency to the student body. To do this, he said they plan to uphold the campaign promises they make to students. They also plan to have accountability meetings to keep cabinet members on track.
“I think the first thing we need to do is to keep our campaign promises the best we can, not making wild promises that we don’t plan to uphold,” Maass said. “We need to show our campaign goals because it is a good portion of being accountable. Second, we need to review our activities and things we’ve done in office with our cabinet every week or two so that we are accountable within the cabinet.”
Maass said in their proposed accountability meetings they would discuss the projects each cabinet member is assigned. They plan to discuss what was accomplished since the previous meeting, what each cabinet member is doing well, what each cabinet member can improve upon and what upcoming projects they have.
Beyond these meetings, Maass said he and Catalano do a good job of working together and holding each other accountable.
“Shelby (Catalano) and I are definitely very different people,” he said. “We have very different styles going about activities. Because of that, we are always asking each other what the best way is to do what we want. We ask each other and improve upon each other’s policies.”
Campaign finance reform, progress reports and a pledge to cut discretionary spending make up the accountability platform of the Wright/Mahr presidential slate.
If elected, the first steps to campaign finance reform would involve working closely with the Board of Elections Commissioners and the MSA Senate, presidential nominee Tom Wright said. The slate would set limits on funding by researching the donations to previous campaigns.
“We want to set a limit that’s within reason and maybe cap the amount single donors can give to a campaign, just so you can’t get a couple thousand (dollars) from one source,” Wright said.
Restructuring campaign finance would also enhance the accountability of not only the Wright/Mahr slate, but also slates that will run in future elections, vice presidential nominee Bo Mahr said.
Progress reports serve as another way Wright and Mahr want to increase accountability within MSA. The progress reports would look similar to reports provided by Princeton University’s Undergraduate Student Government and would be just as accessible, according to their campaign website. Progress reports would also lay the groundwork for future administrations, Wright and Mahr said.
Spending cuts would come in the form of eliminating programs that benefit only MSA and voluntary pay cuts for the president and vice president, Wright said. The pay decrease to minimum wage reflects the slate’s desire to change MSA from its current form.
“We’re just trying to change the workings of MSA so it works more for the students and not just necessarily those in it,” Wright said.