OPINION: The evolving ASB: What’s next?

Posted on Apr 1 2019 - 5:50am by Alyssa Moncrief

On April 2, the Ole Miss campus will elect the next Associated Student Body officers, including president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, judicial chair and attorney general.

This election season has been extremely competitive, specifically between candidates for president and vice president. The most popular campaign technique seems to be social media use. This has made securing votes even tougher for candidates, as students of all backgrounds, classifications and majors have claimed their candidate through Instagram stories, Snapchats and Facebook shares. This has become an extremely effective strategy not only for gaining support but also for spreading awareness of each candidate’s platform. There is no better place to share your plans while in office than an Instagram story that 700 classmates will watch.

Popular goals of the candidates include transparency between the student body and ASB, accountability to communicate important decisions to the students and accessibility to ASB. Although these platforms are typical of past candidates as well, all of the students seemed eager to begin work as soon as elected. The new attention that students are showing in campus and ASB has clearly affected the decisions made by the current officers.

On March 5, the Associated Student Body Senate unanimously agreed to relocate the Confederate statue from the Circle because of student concerns about what the statue represents. According to an article by The Daily Mississippian, 65% of voters who participated in a Twitter poll claimed they wanted the statue relocated.

Although the ASB has historically set motions in place to support diversity and inclusion, such as Everybody’s Formal and the Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement Committee, this decision proved how effective ASB can be in voting on issues that affect not only the students of Ole Miss but also the community and state. This motion has even received national coverage from news outlets such as The Washington Post and The Chronicle.

It will be interesting to see how the next set of officials uses this momentum to create positive change when elected to their respective positions.

Alyssa Moncrief is a freshman political science and journalism major from Jackson.