Editorial: Noce strong on communication, lacked follow-through

The former MSA president receives "C" grade for overall effectiveness.

The time has come for now-former Missouri Students Association president Tim Noce to hit the dusty trail and for his legacy as the leader of our student government to be evaluated. As we do each year, The Maneater has given the outgoing MSA president a grade in individual categories (goals, advocacy and visibility), as well as an overall grade for his effectiveness in his position.

Goals accomplished: B Although he ran unopposed, Noce released a "platform" of ten goals during his "campaigning" process. A few were effectively achieved or at least set into motion during Noce’s presidency. Others? Not so much.

In the technological realm, Noce promised to “decouple the IT fee from the system level.” This much was achieved — the fee decoupled over the summer, meaning each UM system campus pays a different fee for technology-related funding. On the same note, Noce also led the development of the MU iPhone app, which was released this past fall and has become a decently-popular tool for students.

Noce also aimed to create an office for the support of non-traditional students (parents, veterans, etc.) to make them feel more at home at MU. The MSA and GPC Family Friendly Task Force legislation was indeed a success for Noce.

Another goal was to “implement a student-led tailgating initiative by fall 2010.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is what we know as The Jungle. The endeavor came off as a flop, though we'd be the first to say that it is indeed an accomplishment that Noce was able to work with the administration to create a school-sponsored student tailgate space that would be exempt from MU's "dry campus" alcohol policy.

Among Noce’s failures, his inability to realize the limits of his own power and responsibilities hindered the MSA president and left him overwhelmed. For example, his promise to completely overhaul the parking system proved impractical and ran into opposition from MU Parking and Transportation and the Residence Halls Association.

There are several examples of Noce's ideas, though ambitious, lacking any sort of follow-through. Noce’s Student Leaders Advisory Council, which he said would meet monthly, never really took off and served as little more than a meet-and-greet for student leaders.

During Noce's campaign for the MSA presidency, a rocky meeting with Four Front caused many of the group's members to doubt his knowledge of diversity issues at MU. During his presidency, this lack of knowledge seemed to translate to a lack of motivation to aid efforts such as IncludeMe, and Noce's promise to "create a comprehensive diversity plan" never saw fruition.

It is true that Noce did complete some of the goals he set out to complete, which is why we gave him a B in this area. He did get some things done, but were those what he should have focused his time and energy on first? It seemed that Noce placed all his eggs in two baskets: parking and a student tailgate. And we all know how both of these initiatives turned out.

Advocacy: D Our main frustration with the performance of MSA, and, in turn, Noce, in the past year comes from the fact that MU students lacked almost any representation or voice on the UM System Board of Curators' level, the level at which real decisions that affect us are made. Yes, we have a student curator who sits on the board, but it is also the responsibility of MU's student government to bring proposals and ideas to the UM System level. This never seemed to be a priority for Noce or his administration. And someone needs to explain to us how he can travel to Texas and D.C. for student government meetings and summits, but can’t go to more than a single curators meeting, which, at most, is two hours away?

Visibility: C+ It's our belief that MSA’s visibility and reputation as a legitimate student organization has seen a slight decline, if not total stagnancy, during Noce’s presidency. Unfortunately, the three things the average student will remember first about their student government's past year are as follows: The Jungle, a controversial MSA presidential election and a bizarre call for MU to purchase a live tiger for home football games.

MSA's overarching goal to reach out to the student body and expand its campus presence also fell short — how many students would recognize their MSA representative if they passed them on the street. Speaking of which, if anyone sees Noce's vice president, Danielle Bellis, let us know. Apparently no one within MSA can find her or knows what she’s been up to over the past year.

Noce didn’t do much to encourage outreach to students. Odds are, less people know what MSA is than would have a year ago. However, one bright point is that Noce was always willing to hear students' ideas and was very willing to communicate with the press, be it The Maneater, The Missourian or The Tribune. This, if anything, did get MSA's name out in the public and maintain a feeling that MSA was staying busy.

Noce now takes over the helm of the Intercampus Student Council. We obviously wish him the best of luck, and we hope he takes our words to heart in regard to student representation at the Board of Curators' level.

Overall Grade: C

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