New MSA executives bring ideas, experience
Three members are returning from last year.
Jan. 22, 2014
With the Missouri Students Association presidential inauguration in two weeks, a new set of executive members will accompany juniors Mason Schara and Kelsey Haberberger to dictate the direction of MSA’s year.
Camille Hosman, Legislative Coordinator
Junior Camille Hosman, the incumbent legislative advocacy officer for Nick Droege’s administration, was selected as the Schara administration’s legislative coordinator.
Hosman will be working alongside senior Ben Levin, president of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, to ensure a strong line of communication between the organizations and will advocate for students on the state level.
Hosman noted that, having become the LAO after the 2013 legislative session ended, she did not have the ability to achieve substantive results. Hosman spent her first semester as LAO reaching out to students with like-minded interests and gauging the student body’s needs.
“There’s still more that I can do,” Hosman said. “I am really excited to take those same goals about really reaching out to students on campus into the spring as the legislature goes back into session. There’s going to be more state activity … and so working with students as (this activity) happens in real time is going to be awesome.”
Hosman emphasized that it is arbitrary to weigh whether someone has already been in MSA as a measure of diversity. The real diversity comes from selecting cabinet members of different ethnicities, background and majors, she said.
“I know for a fact that Mason (Schara) hired everyone on his cabinet because he knows that this is going to be the best way for him to serve the student body,” Hosman said.
Hosman said while she was involved in MSA’s highly-publicized “Kill the Bill” effort, there is no way to determine whether 2014 will see such relevant and controversial legislation. One annual discussion that might raise controversy, Hosman suggested, is the discussion of MU’s budget.
Despite the uncertainty of her agenda, Hosman plans to put an emphasis on bonding issues, capital improvements to the university and financial aid for students.
“My job is incredibly reactive, which is kind of unfortunate because I am an energetic person,” Hosman said. “I love to solve problems, but I kind of have to wait for them to make their moves.”
Gunnar Johanson, Director of Student Communications
Sophomore Gunnar Johanson, who was a temporary director of student services for Droege and the current executive chief of staff, was selected to serve on the cabinet as the new director of student communications.
Earlier this semester, Johanson and current Director of Student Communications Jimmy Hibsch wanted to abolish the term “department” because it is run only by a director rather than a team. The effort was abandoned after they realized they would have to change the MSA Constitution.
Johanson plans to restructure the department, making its status as a department more fitting.
“I’m going to hire a couple of different people — a new outreach chair, possibly a web develop coordinator,” Johanson said. “I’ve been exploring the idea of having a readership committee team to analyze and survey the readership program … and make it more of a department and a team.”
Johanson’s primary responsibility as director will be informing students of the various events, initiatives and opportunities available to students through social media and marketing campaigns.
Johanson said he realizes the broad nature of the role, and hopes to create a more efficient and streamlined department that can more effectively meet its responsibilities.
“Being on MSA cabinet really teaches you how to cut through all that red tape and help students get what they need, work on projects that other people can’t because you have connections and networking opportunities with people you can’t usually,” he said. “All of the relationships I’ve built, all of the skills that I’ve learned are really going to help me in the position I am now.”
Zack Folk, Director of Student Services
Senior Zack Folk, former Residence Halls Association president and current National Residence Hall Honorary president, was selected to be the new director of student services.
Folk noted that he originally became involved in MSA as a liaison for RHA and helped conceptualize projects such as the Mizzou Off-Campus Mentorship program.
Folk mentioned that his largest goal is not to be the harbinger of a number of new programs but to restructure the department so that it is a stronger advocate for passionate and ambitious students who are looking to create new programs on campus.
“I think our committees are a little bit too specific to be brought in to help students’ needs, and a lot of things fall through the cracks because of that,” Folk said. “So what I’d like to do is broaden out the focus of each of these committees and help them reach more areas and then find coordinators to work in each of these committees to help them have a specific focus.”
He noted that in his roles in RHA and NRHH, he spent a large part of his time restructuring those organizations in hopes of making them more efficient. That experience, he said, will be helpful now.
“A lot of what we need to do is make everything that has been done in the past more sustainable,” Folk said. “MSA has made leaps and bounds in the past couple of years and with that rapid change does not mean that it necessarily can stay like that. This administration will make sure that a lot of projects that have been worked in the past will stay around to serve students.”
Myles Artis, Chief of Staff
Sophomore Myles Artis has been selected to follow Johanson as the executive chief of staff, a catch-all role that allows its holder to focus both on administrative needs and personal projects.
Artis said he first got involved with MSA through Summer Welcome, then joined the MSA Senate and then pursued other opportunities that led him to be chairman of DSA’s Black Programming Committee and a tri-director of the SEC Exchange Steering Committee.
“Meeting people is one of my strengths,” Artis said. “One of my goals is to make MSA more visible on campus because I still, to this day, get people asking, ‘What is MSA? How do I get involved? What do you guys do?’ Everyone on campus should know about us because we can be a great resource for them … that they paid for.”
Artis said he believes he will thrive as chief of staff.
“It’s very rewarding in that you get a chance to dabble in different projects and opportunities instead of having to focus on one thing,” Artis said. “My main priority is to make MSA visible.”
Artis hopes, if all else fails, that MSA can become more united to students and the diversity of organizations on campus.
Haden Gomez, Deputy Chief of Staff
Freshman Haden Gomez will be the cabinet’s deputy chief of staff, assisting the administration in carrying out a variety of different tasks as needed.
“(Gunnar Johanson) told me it’s a position that I can make it whatever I want,” Gomez said. “Not only will I help Mason (Schara) and Kelsey (Haberberger), but I will start working on my own projects.”
Gomez said that he had held similar roles before, and after assisting with the Schara-Haberberger campaign, he was asked by Schara if he we was interested in applying for a position. He said his main goal is to see that everything the administration needs and requests is taken care of.
“I am absolutely ecstatic that they chose me,” Gomez said, asked how he felt to be on the cabinet so early in his college career. “I cannot wait to work with some of these amazing leaders on campus.”
Gomez said he is not concerned that his freshman standing will hinder his ability to be an effective cabinet member.
“Being a freshman in this position makes me an outlet for those freshmen who are really trying to see where they can (find their place) at Mizzou,” Gomez said.
His primary task moving forward will be to keep students informed and involved in the organization. While it is important to represent all organizations on campus, he said it is important to also represent students who are not heavily involved in any of them.
Sandy Patel, Secretary of Auxiliaries
Current Secretary of Auxiliaries Sandy Patel has been chosen to resume her role for another year, providing an avenue to accomplish additional tasks she did not have time to pursue in her first term.
Patel said she is supportive of auxiliary guidelines, referencing the Truman’s Closet debacle in November 2013 concerning what criterion a program must meet to receive auxiliary status. She said students can expect to see such guidelines take effect this January.
She noted that holding the position under a new administration will be vastly different because Droege focused on innovation and Schara’s focus is on preservation. The Schara administration, she said, is more about helping auxiliaries regrow and sustain their progress in the future.
“How do we help the ones that we have now?” Patel said. “How do we make them better? (We want to answer those questions) rather than constantly trying to find another niche of campus that’s not here and see how we can benefit them. I’m excited to see how this ‘regrowth and sustain and support’ platform is going to go.”
Patel said that her position is fairly new and it was considered for the chopping block at the beginning of 2013. She set to change that and defined the role with a place in the bylaws and a list of regular responsibilities. Now that the position is established, she will be focusing on utilizing the relationships she has built to assist the auxiliaries in reaching out, being self-sustaining and innovating.
She said that student-run services are the focus with advisers increasingly stretched thin. Above all, Patel hopes to assist the Craft Studio, the only auxiliary not located within the MU Student Center, reach more students.
Victoria Yu, Chief Diversity Officer
Victoria Yu, president of the Asian American Association, will be MSA’s first chief diversity officer, a position created to coordinate and reach out to minority groups.
Much of what Yu will be tasked with is reaching out to minority students who miss out on opportunities to be heard and get involved, a task she has already begun on campus.
“Overall, I’ll be working with the minority organizations on campus and making sure that they are represented,” Yu said. “The big picture is set, the goal of the position is set, but exactly how to achieve it, we’ll work on it step-by-step and organize it that way.”
Yu said she is shooting high with this position, reaching as many minority organizations as possible. She plans to meet with their boards regularly to gauge their needs and requests that might not have been heard in recent years.
“I think being very personable will help a lot,” Yu said. “Actually meeting with them, being supportive of their events, collaborating with them, instead of just emailing or phone calls, really developing personal relationships. Communication is key.”
Yu hopes to establish a positive link between MSA and as many minority organizations as possible by the end of 2014.
“I remember coming into MU, I didn’t know much about MSA,” Yu said. “It’s not all that public or inclusive. It’s at the very top, and over the years I learned more about the events they have. The first step is to inform the organizations about what MSA does and that we want their voices to be heard.”
Chelsea Fricker, Director of Student Activities
Chelsea Fricker, who has held production management positions within the Department of Student Activities, Department of Student Life and Mizzou After Dark, has been selected as the next DSA director.
Fricker began her freshman year as a junior production assistant within the Department of Student Life, moving from there to the DSA’s event staff and then the department’s special events junior chair.
She was also the head production assistant for this year’s Mizzou After Dark events, responsible for creating the schedule and overseeing the events. It required handling a budget and managing a staff of 30 people. She said this role, as well as her other roles, helped her develop relationships that will help her succeed.
“I think DSA is in such a cool position on this campus because DSA is where you see student funds,” Fricker said. “DSA provides students the opportunity to see that their university cares about them and cares about what they’re interested in.”
Fricker said she plans to make the whole department more visible to the student body.
“The one thing that I want to jump in and tackle right away is making the executive board more visible on campus,” Fricker said.
She said that the greatest challenge for her will be taking a step back and delegating the department’s tasks, rather than being on the front lines as she has in the past.
Fricker also has plans to make DSA more collaborative, working with other organizations and building relationships that will enable the department to host largely successful events and activities.