A Q&A with MSA’s new interim vice president Bill Vega

Vega: “You don’t have to be in an official position, you don’t have to be a vice something or an interim whatever, you can come pop in and say, ‘Hey, this is something I’d like to see done better.’”
Newly appointed interim MSA Vice President Bill Vega poses for a picture.

Bill Vega stepped up to be the interim Missouri Students Association vice president after the heated Senate meeting Jan. 27 ended with Payton Head as interim president for the next 30 days.

Former Budget Committee Chairman Vega is a newcomer to the executive branch, but he said he is ready to serve the next 30 days as MSA’s vice president.

Q: Why did you first get involved in MSA?

A: My older brother Ben Vega was the old Academic Affairs chair. He had been involved so he got me into what they do. I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll go try it.’ You really got the feeling right as you walked in like, ‘Wow, this is definitely something that can influence change on campus,’ and it just really sparked my interest from there.

Q: What is your prior experience in MSA?

A: Before this, I was the Budget chairman for two semesters, so I actually came in last spring as the new chairman. What that entailed was crafting the budget alongside the former Vice President Brenda Smith-Lezama, so that process was very “jump in with both feet” kind of aspect for starting off my chairmanship.

Q: What were your thoughts when Payton said he wanted you as his interim vice president?

A: My first thought was initially no. Like everyone on campus, I have things going on during the semester, be it school or otherwise. I sort of came to the realization right after Payton appointed me that this would be a good, natural transition. I thought that this would be a good time to remove myself from that and take on the vice presidential role to just get through the budget season process so that it could be completed as efficiently as possible.

Q: What are you anticipating these next 30 days as interim vice president will be like?

A: It’s going to be a whirlwind, but it should be great. I think my committee is totally prepared for the next seven weeks as hopefully am I, so I think it should be a pretty smooth transition. I’m really excited to see how my committee and how the entire association reacts to the shock. The entire culture on campus has been unstable recently and I hope that we can be a catalyst for getting back on track in a positive and healthy way, so I’m definitely really excited to see if that happens.

Q: Will you continue to be involved in MSA after your term as interim vice president has ended?

A: I’ll definitely remain involved with the association in some way. While the Budget Committee is still working with some ideas that they have, I can devote more of my time on the student fee discussion that I’m really interested in. So if nothing else I’ll remain an associate on part of the budget committee and start tackling the things I’m genuinely interested in.

Q: Is there anything you would like to tell the student body?

A: I feel like the more people that decide to take issue with things, the more actively changes are going to happen. Say something to anyone, start a conversation about something you want to see done better. It’s my job to funnel your opinion somewhere, but I have to have something to funnel. Maybe there’s a social justice issue, or something with your academics that you want to see changed, or just something with student involvement in general. You don’t have to be in an official position, you don’t have to be a vice something or an interim whatever, you can come pop in and say, ‘Hey, this is something I’d like to see done better.’

Edited by Waverly Colville | wcolville@themaneater.com

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