Editorial: Woods/Moon offer good judgement, outside perspective
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Maneater editorial board.
Nov. 05, 2010
The Missouri Students Association is hosting its annual election Monday through Wednesday. As we endorse state and city candidates, we also endorse MSA candidates. It’s a good year for MSA — the organization has three slates to choose from, all with experience in MSA and platforms, but our endorsement goes to Eric Woods and Emily Moon.
Before we get into why we’re voting for Woods/Moon, let’s first consider the other platforms. Ben Hansen and Kaitlin Oxenreider both have a lot of experience, namely, on MSA's executive board, but we have no desire to retain the organization's status quo. Also, we feel that, as was seen through the debates, neither candidate is particularly well-spoken. If you can’t pull it together in front of The Maneater and other students, then how can you in front of the administration?
Josh Travis and Michelle Horan have the most extensive campaign platform. They’re very enthusiastic, focused and direct about what they want and how they want students to be involved -- we have no fear of Travis/Horan backing down to administrators. Also, their ability to increase MSA visibility, something Hansen/Oxenreider have also taken up, seems like it has real potential. Being MSA leaders takes enthusiasm and a gung-ho attitude they both seem to possess on some level. However, Travis tends to be overtly political, which creates an air of pretension around him. For example, in the debate, there was a question asked about rape and sexual assault prevention, which Travis circled around and brought back to safety, and his organization TigerWatch. TigerWatch does not prevent sexual assault, but he twisted the question to include a platform point of his. This was seen again when he was asked about making campus more transgender-friendly. Travis circled around the question and ended up talking about creating diversity in Homecoming. Students see enough of this type of political behavior from their representatives in state and national legislature — we don't need any more of it from fellow students, especially our leaders.
The Travis/Horan slate has the most detailed platform, but we question if it’s more impressive or excessive. Although we think the platform could realistically be narrowed down to two pages and we don’t necessarily like the amount of bureaucracy it mandates, having a clear idea of what they want to do definitely won the pair some points.
However, it's worth noting that during the most recent debate Wednesday, Travis said he agreed with MSA Senate voicing its opinion on Proposition 2 through passing legislation without considering both sides or actually talking to its constituents. Our greatest concern is Travis and Horan will be unwilling to budge on the plans they’ve set for themselves, whether the student vote agrees with them or they've been fairly considered.
Woods/Moon is our choice because the pair represents some happy mediums and is qualified in terms of its job description.
Often underestimated, the position of vice-president is important to MSA, and to the student body, because they oversee the budget. Choosing a vice-president is just as important as president, and Moon is the best candidate for the job. Moon has managing experience from her work with the Homecoming Steering Committee, has actively looked over budget, met with the Budget Committee and already has plans for managing the budget better. Horan lacks experience with the budget and hasn’t done anything to prepare for handling it other than being a business major. After this year, it’s obvious more is needed to handle the budget than simply being a business major. We also like Moon’s idea of MSA self-sufficiency through an endowment fund and the platform point of an innovation grant with the egregious carryover currently in MSA. These ideas could decrease the student fees in the future and potentially be of great service to students.
The Woods/Moon slate has a clear vision of what MSA’s responsibilities are and has plans for focusing on them. MSA could benefit from Moon’s outsider perspective. They also have the added benefit of being relatable, honest students. Rather than being super-focused on the politics of the campaign, they seem to be genuinely interested in the issues.
Our endorsement does come with qualifications, however. The platform lacks expanding visibility — nothing has really been said in terms of marketing MSA to students. They need a plan for that. Their plan for sustainability through using locally grown food isn’t grounded in a concrete plan, and we would like to see that as soon as possible to avoid the wish list-like campaign that results in nothing. We expected stronger criticism of current city representation, not to hear that CCRC already does a great job. According to its by-laws, CCRC should already be sending a representative to city council meetings and acting as a liaison — but it's not. We need assurance that Woods/Moon will enforce city and state representation for students.
Although it’s not clearly spelled out yet, we trust Woods/Moon’s judgment. They said Senate handled the Taser ban issue incorrectly in terms of getting both sides of the argument and set their personal politics aside. Respecting the process of democracy is crucial to student government.
Our call to action for Woods/Moon: Don’t wait for students to come to MSA, because they haven’t been and they won’t. Be involved and be visible. Someone needs to be out there to find the problems, inform students and improve student life.