RHA Election Debates
Monday played host to the RHA President and Vice President debates. It went fairly well, with Greg and myself clearly establishing a stronger slate and representing more experience and qualifications. But that doesn’t win elections. Here’s the article from Tuesday’s Maneater edition.
“The Residence Halls Association presidential slates faced off in front of the Internal Affairs Committee and External Affairs Committee Monday night.
RHA Vice President Greg Davis is running for RHA president with running mate Nate Ballance. The pair will run against presidential candidate B.T. Daramola and vice presidential candidate Scotty Faust. Last year, Ballance and Daramola ran for RHA president and vice president as a slate but lost to senior Justin Ginter and former vice president, junior Jennifer Williams.
The RHA election will take place Thursday. All students living in MU residence halls are eligible to vote. The elected president and vice president of RHA will be announced at the Residence Halls Inaugural Ball Friday night at the Upper Crust Bakery.
Faust has never worked with RHA but says he’s qualified because of his belief that it is a key organization on campus.
“If there was any way I could get involved and serve the community on this campus, I would gladly get involved in a heartbeat,” Faust said.
Ballance served as the communications chairman for RHA this year and said he wants to take those skills and apply them more widely to the organization.
At the debate, the slates addressed the policy of not allowing student staff members in the organization to hold the positions of president and vice president.
Davis said he agreed with the policy.
“A CA or a PA job is a huge job,” Davis said. “The president or vice president of RHA is also a larger responsibility. When you add 15-17 credit hours on top of that, you can have one stressed-out individual. It’s not an entirely healthy situation to be in.”
But Daramola said he and Faust believe that student staff members have all qualities necessary to fill the highest positions.
“We feel that a student staff member and everything that characterizes that person, that character and that strength of will, are exactly the qualities of a person who should be serving us as RHA president or vice president,” he said.
Daramola said the organization and the student body are robbed of many quality candidates with this policy.
What does the president of RHA do, and how will you go above and beyond that role?
DARAMOLA: The role of the president of RHA is first to maintain the integrity of the organization because we are the only organization that is set to serve the residents of the residence halls. What I would do as president, if I am elected, would be to just sit down and to evaluate because that is one of the main parts of that platform — fixing the organization from the inside out.
DAVIS: The president is also head of RHA’s executive board, and as such is seen as the face of RHA to other organizations on campus. The president also does a lot of things in the background of the organization. It could be anything from subtle encouragement to individual members, to coordinating with Campus Dining Services and setting up meetings or anything like that.
How do you intend to promote RHA?
DARAMOLA: One of the main problems, as far as hall council goes, and a relative problem is that they’re not permanent. They change through time. The one aspect of that hall council that stays the same longer than anything else is the Hall Coordinator. One of our plans of attack is to, when the semester first kicks off, to go to the HC, and explain to them what RHA is, the importance of it, and to make sure the first thing on that hall council agenda is to elect someone to be in RHA.
DAVIS: That’s part of what our visits to the hall councils are all about. We go there and talk up RHA and what it’s all about. Even if we can talk to the hall councils, and we can even have a larger scale meeting with the general residents of a hall and group, and we can talk it up there too. We’re going to have these events, and we can even have brochures and things like that.
How do you plan to approach, confront or address the social justice issues that we encounter on campus?
DARAMOLA: To combat social injustice, or to confront the problem at hand, we can hold more socially responsible events, such as the racism wall. Basically, what it is is a wall that’s set up where any negative derogatory comment you can think of will be written on that wall. At the end of the allotted time period, that wall will be broken down, representing the breaking down of stereotypes on that campus.
DAVIS: Nate and I are planning on having some kind of programming once a month. And these programs aren’t always going to be social programs necessarily. We’re going to have service programs. We’re also looking at having a great deal of diversity programming, including probably the racism wall, and talking up diversity to the external committee a bit, and seeing what they come up with.”
Greg and I stopped counting our misquotes after four (which I’ve highlighted in orange). In our opinion this article is a very poor article. Not only does it completely ignore the Vice Presidential debate, but one slate was covered more so than the other. The reporter showed up halfway through and was given a talk by the current President, Justin. We’ll see how the article effects the polls on Thursday.
We had the Pershing Area Council meeting tonight at which the Daramola/Faust slate showed up unannounced – which quite surprised Christa (the President) but she allowed them to speak anyways. Oh, if the reporter had been there tonight. Christa hit them with questions that tore them apart. The Council was slightly amused, being that none of them would been swayed anyways. They politely listened then I fielded questions after they had left correcting various incorrect statements that they had been told.