Anthony Tretter and Kara Hjerstedt look to lead MSA with their More For Mizzou platform

Prepare for the March election by knowing the candidates.
Anthony Tretter answers a question during an MSA Debate hosted by the Maneater. | Photo by Staff Photographer Becca Newton.

In the MSA presidential debate hosted by The Maneater on Thursday, Feb. 20, three slates lined up to present their platforms to a room full of students. Anthony Tretter and Kara Hjerstedt detailed their platform More For Mizzou, a campaign aimed to bring MU together and address underlying issues on campus.

Tretter is running for the position of president with Hjerstedt as his running mate. The former is a junior political science major and has worked with MSA since his freshman year at MU; after two years as a senator, he currently operates as the deputy chief of staff.

“I’m the only presidential candidate with MSA experience in the past,” he said. “I think having that institutional knowledge can help us create a better student government that’s more inclusive and works better for all students.”

Hjerstedt is a junior in the College of Education. She has worked as the Panhellenic vice president of her sorority Gamma Phi Beta and in the Residential Life department.

“Throughout my experience in leadership positions, I have found my passion for philanthropy and volunteerism,” she said. “That’s the … meaning behind the vice president position of MSA.”

Their platform has four main proposals: sexual assault prevention and awareness, mental health advocacy, special education and an off-campus housing website. In addition, they aim to create a new legislative review system, a better way of communicating with student-athletes, a “Continue the Mission” program to continue past administrations’ legacies and Greek life reform.

The slate emphasized the priority of sexual assault prevention and awareness in their platform. Tretter has experience working with the Missouri Office of the Attorney General on the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

“It is an epidemic,” Tretter said. “It is something that affects every community on campus.”

Their platform would work to bring free date-rape drug tests to campus as well as technology and apps to help prevent sexual assault. They plan to work with MUPD and developers to bring their ideas to life.

“We are working with a company that sells these bracelets,” Hjerstedt said. “If you feel you are in a compromised situation wherever you may be you can press a button — it pings your friends your location.”

The slate addresses mental health as another primary concern on campus. According to information stated in the debate, the MU Counseling Center only offers a short-term care model, which means students can only receive up to 10 sessions before being referred to more long-term care. offers a maximum of 10 sessions to each individual.

“We specifically want to work with student health facilities to bring more education to programs, to classes, to organizations where they can learn about it,” Hjerstedt said.

Additionally, they established a goal to work with Student Health and Well-Being staff to bring additional guest speakers and programs to MU about mental health.

The special education component of their platform takes inspiration from the University of Tennesse’s FUTURE program. This program works to successfully transition young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities into university life.

“Programs like this have been implemented at a majority of SEC schools and we are not one of them,” Hjerstedt said. “It’s time to change that.”

The final aspect of their main platform focuses on making it easier for students to find off-campus housing. They have already begun to work with College Pads, a company that works to foster a more efficient off-campus housing community for students and landlords.

Often brought up during the debate was the MSA Town Hall in November that addressed, in part, a racist tweet from Mizzou Athletics. Tretter stated that he attended the town hall and was able to hear from the students.

“We need to reach out and listen to [other communities] for ideas,” he said. “I think it’s important to bring those groups together again, and I think we would want to do that within the first 90 days of our presidency.”

The election starts on March 2 at 6 p.m., ending on March 4 at 6 p.m. Vote at https://vote.missouri.edu/. Prior to the election, Tretter and Hjerstedt will continue to campaign around campus and on social media under their More For Mizzou platform.

Edited by Ben Scott | bscott@themaneater.com

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