MSA vice presidential candidate Clay Evans faces the world head-on

Evans: “Competitiveness isn’t a set parameter. When you’re in a business, things are always changing. When another factor gets added in you can be competitive and it keeps you from being complacent.”

It’s late in the afternoon and junior Clay Evans stands on the basketball court outside Plaza. He dribbles towards the hoops, pulls off a quick spin move and finishes with a lay-up. Nothing but net.

Sports are one of Evans’ passions and he transfers the his drive and love for competition into his major of Agricultural-Business.

“I think it’s the problem solving aspect of it,” Evans said. “The idea that there’s all of these different options, you can choose whichever one you want to go down, and it’s pretty much solely on you that you can pretty much make or break yourself. It’s kind of just a wildcard.”

Evans decided to run for MSA vice president after his friend Sam Turner asked Evans to be his running mate.Like Turner, Evans said he wants to run for the vice-presidential position becasue he wants to bring an outsider perspective into MSA.

Columbia was a stark change for Evans, whose hometown of Lathrop, Missouri has a population of barely 2,000.

Although he comes from a rural background, Evans was determined to make the most of his time at MU. He said the transition to a large state school was easy because of his open and energetic nature.

“He’s a very outgoing individual.” said John-Eric Steiner, one of Evans’ close friends. “I can’t emphasize enough how friendly, fun-loving and easy to get along with he is.”

Evans grew up working on his father’s cattle farm, but he has always had an interest in organizations and problem solving. When it came time to pick a major, Evans, who is a self-described “microsoft excel guru,” said he decided on agricultural business because it included his passion for leadership and his background in agriculture.

“There are a lot of people I graduated with and even people from bigger cities (that) I know who say they want to go to a smaller college so they feel like they know more people,” Evans said. “I love Mizzou for the fact that I feel like I don’t know everybody. Every day I can meet someone new that I hadn’t even seen yesterday and so that really excites me.”

Both of Evans’ parents attended MU. Evans said he chose the school because of its large size and great agricultural program.

“I’m the fifth generation (in my family) that has attended Mizzou,” Evans said. “My dad actually didn’t tell me that until after I committed, which I am kind of thankful for, otherwise there would have been a bit of pressure.”

Evans said sports are important in both his friendships at MU and his relationship with his family. Evans is always looking for competition, whether it be watching a track meet with his mom and dad or playing basketball with his friends at MU.

“We definitely butt heads at times just because we’re both extremely athletic,” Steiner said. “That usually comes across in the athletic realm of things, so when we play sports it can get kind of heated. It’s always enjoyable.”

Evans said this competitive streak will help him in the business world. He said he likes the problem-solving aspect of business and is always looking to challenge himself.

“Competitiveness isn’t a set parameter,” Evans said. “When you’re in a business, things are always changing. When another factor gets added in you can be competitive and it keeps you from being complacent.”

Evans is also involved at a Christian church and participates regularly in services and Bible studies. Evans said that his faith makes a “huge impact” on his life and guides his principles.

Although Evans said he wants to return to a rural area someday, he said it is important to keep busy and to constantly improve in any way he can.

“Being in a small town, you’re almost sheltered and so (I’m) getting a feel of (the) diversity that there is at Mizzou,” Evans said. “The opportunity that arises every day because of the size of Mizzou and the scope and the diversity of Mizzou really kind of excites me.”

Edited by Waverly Colville |

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