Editorial: The Maneater endorses Solomon Davis, Briana Dinwiddie for MSA president, vice president

Both slates have strong ideas, but Davis and Dinwiddie’s proposals for Greek life and mental health make them the stronger candidates.

This editorial has been updated to reflect Davis' collaboration efforts with Greek life students.

This editorial has been updated to reflect Davis' collaboration efforts with Greek life students.

CORRECTION: This editorial has been updated to reflect Davis' collaboration efforts with Greek life students. The Maneater regrets this error.

This editorial has been updated to reflect Davis' collaboration efforts with Greek life students.

In the upcoming Missouri Students Association presidential election, The Maneater chooses to endorse Solomon Davis and Briana Dinwiddie and their “All in Mizzou” campaign for MSA president and vice president.

Davis and Dinwiddie and opponents Jennifer Sutterer and Mary O’Brien of the “Show Your Stripes Mizzou” campaign are all strong candidates who hold similar stances on several issues that are important to students, such as mental health, drug safety and students’ access to transportation. However, it’s where these two campaigns disagree that caught the attention of The Maneater Editorial Board.

The most important difference we believe is that Davis supports more regulations on Greek life than Sutterer. Davis plans to collaborate with Greek life organizations to bring more safety for Greek students and improve Greek life.

Greek life organizations see little oversight or guidance from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, allowing fraternities and sororities to roam free at MU, according to a 2017 report by Dyad Strategies. The report also condemned allowing freshmen to live in fraternity houses.

While both candidates are involved in Greek life, Davis backs a proposal that would allow for first-year fraternity members to live in house if their chapter met certain academic and safety standards, according to previous Maneater reporting. The campaign said they aren't sure which changes are going to happen to Greek life and wants to work with Greek life students to make sure fun and safety is at the forefront of any changes. Sutterer believes that sororities and fraternities should have control of housing events since they are on private property, which wouldn’t allow for the current issues that the report cites in fraternities to improve.

Both campaigns support increased online accessibility to the MU Student Health Center. They both advocate for the ability for students to schedule appointments online. However, Davis and Dinwiddie take this a step further by advocating for students to have virtual mental health appointments. Davis said the service would be paid for through MU’s insurance company, Aetna, which he claims would keep costs to students low. The virtual visits are not something Sutterer is pushing for due to cost concerns.

During her time as an MSA senator, Sutterer abstained to vote on MSA senate bill 58-12. The bill, which Davis and several other senators voted yes on, proposed an MSA collaboration with social justice organizations already existing on campus to host more events to inform MU students about social justice issues. Sutterer said in the second MSA debate she did not vote on the bill because there was no cost report associated. It concerned us that she abstained to vote for this reason because the bill was largely focused on using existing centers on campus.

Sutterer and Davis both are current MSA senators. Sutterer has also interned with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Missouri Sen. Caleb Rowden. She may have bigger connections, but we believe Davis has better shown his commitment to improving MU student life and representing students on campus through this active MSA senatorial participation.

MU students can cast their vote for the MSA presidential election from March 4 to March 6.

To read more about each slate, visit each campaign’s website: www.allinmizzou.com and www.showyourstripesmizzou.com

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