In a Nov. 4 Facebook post, Missouri Students Association vice-presidential candidate Jonathan Segers called for all students to #FailTheFee, referencing the upcoming library fee vote on Nov. 16-18.
Their change in opinion comes from an effort to fully stand by the MU boycott that had been taking place. His running mate, presidential candidate Jordan McFarland, supports this change of heart. The slate is no longer in support of the library fee as they originally said publically.
“If you’re going to tell people to boycott the university, then you have to do it in its entirety,” Segers said. “If you’re not going to listen to us, if you’re not going to respect us, if you’re not even going to consider what we’re saying, then we’re not going to pay it back to you.”
McFarland and Segers have been active participants in Concerned Student 1950 demonstrations, and they were upset by the lack of respect the school had for Concerned Student 1950’s cause.
“They've been insulting our intelligence and distracting us with free t-shirts and free food,” Segers wrote in his post. “It's psychological mind games. I'm just now waking up to this.”
McFarland and Segers said both the Ejaz/Parrie and Gomez/Hanner teams also stood behind the boycott of MU, but have done nothing to show their support.
“You have two slates that are being fake, so fake, and yes I’m calling them out,” McFarland said. “Being an ally is not being afraid to take the unpopular choice of going against the library fee.”
The post attracted the attention of MSA Senate Speaker Kevin Carr, who saw the statement as a violation of the MSA bylaws.
In a comment to Segers’ post, Carr referenced bylaw 2.00 A (3) which states, “All leaders of the association are bound to express any opinion of the student body expressed by the Senate as a resolution.”
Carr said he spoke with both McFarland and Segers on several occasions to explain the consequences of going against MSA’s general consensus. Although he himself does not have the power to remove them from office, Carr said their actions would immediately damage their relationship with the legislative branch.
“We’ve put a good amount of work and thought into the resolutions that we make, and we make very careful considerations over the endorsements that we have to,” Carr said.
The library referendum had been supported unanimously in Senate, of which McFarland had been a part of until his decision to run for office. McFarland said that though he understands that they would like to voice the opinion of all students, that’s virtually impossible.
McFarland and Segers disagree. In a Facebook comment to Carr, Segers used the BEC handbook to show Carr that he was not in fact breaking any rules. The handbook says that a candidate’s social network profile is not included as campaign material. The slate was upset with how Carr handled the situation.
“Kevin threatened impeachment,” McFarland said. “Kevin has zero authority to intervene on any matter that is going on right now in this election. It was blasphemous. It was an overstep. There are people within MSA that do not agree with what he did.”
Carr denied this accusation, saying he never said that he would single-handedly impeach either candidate. If the Senate, however, decided to do something about it, they would have that power. Carr said it’s the Senate’s job to hold the president and vice president accountable.
“We say that we’re the slate that will go to hell and back to make sure that all 27,000 voices are heard, and this is one concrete way where we’re showing you what we will do by doing it now, no matter the political repercussions that it has,” McFarland said.