Editorial: The Maneater endorses MSA slate Droege/Beattie
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Maneater editorial board.
Nov. 05, 2012
The Missouri Students Association election has been competing with the rest of the national elections for attention this year, and because it’s a student government, its election deserves students’ attention.
MSA is the voice of MU undergraduates, and its president and vice president are charged with representing students. In this election, the only slate we trust with that task is Nick Droege and Zach Beattie’s.
Droege has especially proven himself as an effective MSA senator and cabinet member. Droege's list of accomplishments, his most prominent being Tiger Pantry, has shown he can take an enormous amount of initiative and has proven his understanding of MSA’s scope and its ability to affect students. We strongly support having someone like Droege as the face of MU.
Droege-Beattie's platform focuses on serving the MU community, something Droege and Beattie have already started doing in MSA. Their plans to continue expanding Tiger Pantry, starting a no-interest loan program for students and a free business attire lending service are all services the student body needs, and programs MSA can feasibly accomplish.
The Loan program would allow students to borrow up to $500 in an emergency with no interest, as long as students repay the loan within a month. The idea is just another example of Droege-Beattie's insight into student needs, and proof of their relationship with administrators. Droege said he has already spoken with Vice President of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs about implementing the idea, and we trust most issues in his platform have a fair chance of success.
Droege/Beattie’s opponents, Tom Wright/Bo Mahr and Spencer Maass/Shelby Catalano, haven’t shown they have the initiative or the contacts to accomplish their goals, and their goals don't match up with student needs like Droege/Beattie’s do.
Maass and Catalano have hardly participated in the election at all: They failed to attend one of the three debates, received the only infractions of the election and have been generally absent and uninformed. As a result of their second infraction, they have been barred from campaigning for the remainder of the election. Their main contribution to the election season has been to serve as an example of how not to run for MSA president and vice president — slates have to do their homework and have concrete plans for the student body.
Wright/Mahr has been Droege/Beattie’s only competition, and though we think both Wright and Mahr contributed to the election discussion, their plans as MSA president and vice president seem out of touch with what the student body needs.
With initiatives like improving Mizzou Wireless and making MU coal-free, Wright and Mahr have shown their misunderstanding of MSA’s scope on campus and students’ needs. A faster Internet connection is always desirable, but it shouldn’t be one of the top priorities of campus leaders. Most of the slate’s ideas are either unattainable or just continuations of MSA initiatives that already exist. Judging by the slate’s platform, it’s hard to believe the slate will really change anything at MU.
Other Wright/Mahr initiatives tend to focus on changes within MSA — reforming campaign finance, cutting presidential and vice presidential salaries and releasing progress reports — none of which will improve campus for MU students. As a self-proclaimed “outsider” slate, Wright and Mahr shouldn’t be focusing on changing a student government they aren’t a part of.
Meanwhile, Droege and Beattie have spent years building the necessary connections with students and administrators to implement their ideas. They already have relationships Wright and Mahr haven’t begun to create. Without those contacts, Wright/Mahr would have a much steeper climb to actually impact campus than Droege/Beattie.
Droege and Beattie understand MSA and the needs of MU students in general. They would provide a strong and smooth continuation of the organization's work, and they have obviously spent time considering some of the most overlooked major issues concerning students, as well as MSA's ability to help remedy these issues.
This is in contrast to Wright and Mahr, who seem to mean well but don't fully grasp what students struggle with or how MSA can help. Their ideas lack visible impact and any notable innovation, and the other ideas they have presented seem out of MSA's grasp. Droege and Beattie have a huge, distinct edge in both leadership qualities and policy. They are serious, knowledgeable, bright and interested in furthering what MSA can do for students.