Schafer and de Leon hope to ‘Make It Matter’ in MSA campaign

Major platform points include affordable housing and sexual assault prevention through It’s On Us.

Courtesy of Tori & Riley MSA Campaign Twitter

MSA presidential candidate Tori Schafer and vice presidential candidate Riley de Leon aim to expand national sexual-assault-prevention program It’s On Us to local government, combat rising student housing costs and create an endowment fund for transgender students if elected this semester through their campaign, “Make It Matter, Mizzou.”

Schafer and de Leon said they understand the diversity of students at MU and therefore want to make individual promises that have collective differences.

Schafer said the endowment fund for transgender students would be created similarly to the endowment for STRIPES. Donors would contribute to this fund to provide financial support to transgender students who have been disavowed by their families.

“It would be a university-wide endowment, so we’d work with the financial offices, student life financial office, and find a way where we could establish an endowment,” Schafer said. “We know it’s been done with other organizations, and we’d like to see that for transgender students.”

To address the issue of student housing costs, Schafer/de Leon also aim to create a task force to promote affordable housing in Columbia. De Leon said the task force would be modeled after Schafer's It’s On Us task force, meeting regularly and communicating with local city officials. Schafer said she has been in conversation with City Council candidate and MU senior Andrew Hutchinson about collaborating on this task force.

After hearing concern about student safety in East Campus, Schafer and de Leon also plan to expand MSA’s semesterly Safety Walk, in which executive members and the MU Police Department check emergency-alert blue lights and streetlights.

The slate plans to recruit underrepresented groups to MSA by increasing social media promoting and tabling. MSA has struggled with underrepresentation of at-large senators from various academic colleges, including the Sinclair School of Nursing, College of Education and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, according to previous Maneater reporting.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley signed MU onto the It’s On Us pledge last week, officially making MU an It’s On Us campus. Schafer said the next step for It’s On Us is to apply for state funding to get sexual-assault-prevention programming at MU.

Schafer said she wants to begin a special education program for people with disabilities to attend MU. She said the program would be modeled after Clemson University’s Clemson Life special needs program. Clemson Life provides students with special needs on-campus living and job opportunities, as well as full enrollment in classes.

“With the university being a public school, and following the model of no child left behind, MU should be upholding that idea of no child left behind and making sure no matter their abilities or disabilities, they should be able to seek higher education if they so wish,” Schafer said.

Starting a program like this would require approval from the chancellor’s office, the Board of Curators and communication with the Disability Center.

Edited by Emily Gallion |

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