Solomon Davis reacts to MSA presidential election results

Davis saw fault with the election process, but he plans to implement his platform as chair of the external affairs committee.
Solomon Davis at The Maneater MSA debate. Photo by Photographer Madeline Carter

Solomon Davis, chair of the Missouri Students Association external affairs committee, was shocked. After a strenuous campaign for the MSA presidential seat, he described losing the election as disheartening.

“It was definitely teary for the first couple hours after,” Davis said. “But at the end of the day, we ran a good campaign.”

Davis, current head of the MSA external affairs committee, alongside running mate Brianna Dinwiddie, lost the MSA presidential election to Jennifer Sutterer and Mary O’Brien by a margin of 120 votes.

Despite the defeat, Davis still has plans for the future. He wants to rebrand his “All In Mizzou” campaign slate into a hub for MSA transparency, where students can view voting and attendance records, sponsors and MSA news.

“I think transparency is a thing that comes up in every single election and people are always like ‘what is MSA?’,” he said.

Davis also still aims to implement initiatives from his presidential platform, particularly his plan for creating virtual MU student IDs. In the bill he introduced the idea for virtual IDs to serve the same function as a physical ID card and that students could also choose to use their preferred name.

“Basically anywhere you would use your ID, this would apply,” he said.

Other initiatives Davis listed are transit reform, improving STRIPES and refining MSA’s election process.

During the voting window, two staffers from the “Show Your Stripes” slate filed a campaign violation against “All In Mizzou,” saying that one of Davis’ volunteers used an obscenity while campaigning. The violation initially amounted to Show Your Stripes having 24 more hours to campaign than “All In Mizzou,” according to previous Maneater reporting.

“We don’t believe the incident happened,” Davis said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Joseph Sell, former chair of the MSA Board of Elections Commissioners, ruled that “All In Mizzou” would receive a 24-hour campaign ban as a result, assuming the MSA judicial branch would hear the appeal from “All In Mizzou.”

“My decision was made hastily on the grounds that they would hear the appeal,” Sell said.

The court ended up not hearing Davis’s appeal, which prompted Davis to have MSA senators sign a petition that mandated the student court to hear the appeal. The court then met on March 6 and ruled to extend voting by one day.

Davis said the ordeal may have affected the election’s outcome, mainly due to public perception, especially because the outcome was decided by such a small margin: 120 votes.

“Seeing that one of the slates got in trouble with the court might encourage [students] to vote the other way,” he said.

He’s still reviewing how else elections can be improved. This experience encouraged Davis to advocate and change how MSA elections are handled, including issues such as campaign finance where the MSA could cap individual donations.

Edited by Ethan Brown | ebrown@themaneater.com

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