By Isabel Lohman and Mawa Iqbal

April 12, 2018

The presidential candidates for the Missouri Students Association are facing off in their second public debate. Robert Schmidt is running under the Mizzou for You slate and Julia Wopata is running under the More to Roar slate. The Maneater is hosting the debate with moderators Emily Gallion and Skyler Rossi.

You can watch the full debate on our Facebook live.

Editor’s note: Posts appear in reverse chronological order.

Editor’s note April 12 10:26 p.m.: The Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center was incorrectly named in an earlier version of this blog. We apologize for the error.


The candidates were asked about the recent cut of auxiliaries from MSA.

When asked if MSA has an image problem, both candidates said there is an image problem.



Candidates were asked about budget cuts affecting the social justice centers in the MU Student Center.


Candidates were asked if they were familiar with joint session. Joint session includes ten organizations: Missouri Students Association, Residence Halls Association, the Legion of Black Collegians, Four Front Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, the Graduate Professional Council and the Missouri International Student Council.


Wopata listed multiple organizations, however, we did not count how many she had listed. You can see this response on the Facebook live stream. We apologize for the error.


Schmidt was asked if he planned on raising money for his campaign since he has not raised any money yet. He said he does not want to ask other students for money because college is expensive as it is. He also said he has used personal funds throughout his campaign.


When asked about parking, Schmidt said those living on campus should have priority on spots. Wopata said she thinks off-campus students should have priority on spots because it incentivizes them to be involved with their activities.


When asked about each slate’s campaign finances, Wopata said she hopes her fundraising will increase her slate’s visibility. Schmidt does not want to fundraise from the student body so he is using his own money for their campaign.


Both candidates were asked to offer praise and/or criticism of the current MSA executive branch. Schmidt was critical of its efforts to represent the student body, while Wopata was critical of its transparency.


Wopata and Schmidt have different goals for combating the stigma associated with mental health issues and awareness.


Both candidates mentioned mental health education when talking about sexual assault education. Wopata said she had met with the Relationship  and Sexual Violence Prevention Center.


Wopata and Schmidt discuss ways they have served MU.


Wopata asked Shmidt if he believes he has a good understanding of the time commitment and responsibility of the presidential role. Schmidt said you can question his knowledge of MSA, but you can not question his commitment. He also cited Columbia being his hometown as a reason why he is especially committed to student success at MU.


Schmidt asked Wopata how she will reach out to students who don’t really have the time to be involved in campus organizations. Wopata said that every student has their foot in the door in at least one organization. Statistically, their campaign can hit most people if they do target those involved on campus.


The event ended with closing statements from each candidate.


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