Three members of the MSF Ole Miss chapter have applied for the Vice President Position for the upcoming year.  The Vice President will direct the chapter’s advocacy and campus outreach efforts, and will close closely with Blake Schrouf, who will continue to serve as chapter president for the 2012-13 year.  A link to an online survey will be sent to MSF Ole Miss chapter members to cast their vote for this position.

Duties of the Vice President

  • Coordinate major events (at least 1 per semester) for the chapter
  • Work with the President in coordinating public relations/publicity for the chapter
  • Work with Policy Team Leaders in planning their events
  • Coordinate membership recruitment efforts

Below are the three candidates for VP, along with their responses to the questions on the survey:

Kaitlyn Barton

Miles Davis

Leslie Hunt

Kaitlyn Barton
Sophomore (2012-13)
Public Policy Leadership major

Describe your current and previous leadership experience (current Freshmen and Sophomores can include high school experiences).

In high school I was student body president my senior year and class president my junior year. I was also a part of the Trent Lott Summer Institute where I spent a month with 20 other students who were interested in public policy. Since beginning college I have been involved with Ole Miss Big Event where I served as a subcommittee member for project recruitment as well as a Big Event team leader. This year I have also been involved with Ole Miss Ambassadors and Student Programming Board where I help in the organization of campus events.

Briefly explain why you are interested in a leadership position with the MSF Ole Miss Chapter.

I grew up in Mississippi and am passionate about my state. I know that this is the state that I will live and work in for the rest of my life. My kids will grow up here. I want to make sure that the state of Mississippi continues to improve. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I also am confident that we can overcome the obstacles that face this state. I am specifically interested in education policy. The youth of Mississippi are capable of learning, they just need the guidance and structure that a good school and education can offer. The youth of Mississippi can and will accomplish great things if given the chance. Also, I want this chapter to have a presence on campus. I want this chapter to grow and I want other students to be invested in our state. It is so important that we have individuals who are willing to fight for Mississippi. I want to be in a position where I can do just that.

Describe what you feel is the most pressing issue facing Mississippi. In what ways can that particular issue be addressed?

Currently, the most pressing policy issue facing the state is a gap in access to early childhood education. It is so important that students have access to quality education. Equality in education is a problem that faces this state and the problem can be partially addressed by providing state wide pre-k. The students who are fortunate enough to be born into a family that can afford pre-k have an upper hand over the students who do not have access to early childhood education. It is not fair to start children off with a gap in education. How can the lower income students be expected to catch up? How can they be expected to compete? By providing early childhood education every student has the opportunity to be great. All children deserve access to a great education. Education must be equal, and one way to work towards closing the education gap, which in turn could lessen the socioeconomic gap, is to provide early childhood education to all Mississippi students.

Describe your current and previous experience in advocacy and event planning.  How can your strengths help get Ole Miss students excited about the MSF Chapter?

I have done a lot of advocacy work as well as event planning with the American Lung Association. For the past four years I have helped organize Capitol Day: a day where community advocates talk to legislators about smoking ban legislation. I have also helped the American Lung Association plan and execute their annual Fight for Air Climb; a 5k run that raises money for policy advocacy and lung disease education in schools. Also, I can talk easily and openly with my peers which will help in promoting the MSF Chapter here at Ole Miss. I want the MSF Chapter to grow and I want others to be as passionate about our work as I am. I am confident that I can put together an event at the start of the fall semester that will create interest in the chapter.

Share a strategy you may use to boost student involvement in MSF meetings and events.

First, I want to start the fall semester off with a bang. I plan on partnering with the Overby Center and the Trent Lott Institute in sponsoring an event that will consist of a panel, possibly state legislators, who will speak about the most pressing issues facing our state. Also during the fall semester I would like to show Waiting for Superman again. The showing would include a discussion afterwards. Also, I can contact the secretaries in Public Policy, Political Science, Journalism, and Southern Studies and ask them to send out an email to their list-serve promoting our chapter. It is vital that we attract new faces: freshman faces. At the start of the spring semester I would like to have a spring retreat where the chapter visits the Kipp Charter schools again. This will peak interest in the chapter as well as interest in education policy.

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Miles Davis
Junior (2012-13)
Banking and Finance major

Describe your current and previous leadership experience (current Freshmen and Sophomores can include high school experiences).

I have expanded my involvement with Mississippi First this past year as Policy Coordinator and I have enjoyed spending time planning and assisting various events and issues associated with Mississippi First.

Briefly explain why you are interested in a leadership position with the MSF Ole Miss Chapter.

I am passionate about my state and I am concerned with the many issues Mississippi faces. I would like an opportunity to work directly on these issues and benefit my state in any way possible. I believe a leadership position in Mississippi First gives me the best chance to do that.

Describe what you feel is the most pressing issue facing Mississippi. In what ways can that particular issue be addressed?

Poverty is the greatest issue facing Mississippi. Mississippi claims a title no one is proud of, the country’s poorest state. This has a large rippling effect on every other aspect of the state including, but certainly not limited to teenage pregnancy, high unemployment, low education statistics, crime, GDP, and economic growth just to name a few. I, personally, believe investing more resources in education is the best way to address this issue. A better educated populous is more productive, less violent, and more open to change and freedom. As Edward Everett once said, “Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.”

Describe your current and previous experience in advocacy and event planning. How can your strengths help get Ole Miss students excited about the MSF Chapter?

I am currently the Policy Coordinator for Mississippi First where I have worked to raise awareness of various state issues, coordinate myself and others to present these issues to the Ole Miss chapter of Mississippi First, and assist in various chapter meetings and events. I have also advocated the CHART policy in several areas of the state. I believe I am a good motivator and I would use that and creativity to advocate Mississippi First.

Share a strategy you may use to boost student involvement in MSF meetings and events.

I have several ideas to promote Mississippi First to Ole Miss student body including posting meeting times in the DM, getting the Ole Miss chapter of Mississippi First to participate in campus wide activities such as the Big Event, organizing a panel discussion open to the public, and setting up a table in the Union to advocate Mississippi First.

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Leslie Hunt
Sophomore (2012-13)
Public Policy Leadership major

Describe your current and previous leadership experience (current Freshmen and Sophomores can include high school experiences).

College:
Research assistant on Economics of Eminent Domain
Alumnae Relations officer in my sorority
Campus Representative for Kanakuk Kamps
More than a Meal
Bible Study leader

High School:
Senate Page
Created and implemented county-wide child abuse awareness event
Created and implemented: deFINE U in my county, a mentoring group for middle school girls.
Mu Alpha Theta State Governor
Scott County’s Junior Miss
Kanakuk Kamp’s “Princess”

Briefly explain why you are interested in a leadership position with the MSF Ole Miss Chapter.

I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with Mississippi First in the last year. I am passionate about many of the issues they are striving to accomplish. I would be dedicated to serving Mississippi First through this position.

Describe what you feel is the most pressing issue facing Mississippi. In what ways can that particular issue be addressed?

Education is the most pressing topic policy makers of Mississippi should be striving to improve. Mississippi’s children are the future of our state. The education gap in Mississippi public school system could be decreased by incentivizing teachers to teach in low performing schools, creating programs to encourage and reward children for learning.

Describe your current and previous experience in advocacy and event planning. How can your strengths help get Ole Miss students excited about the MSF Chapter?

In high school, I created an awareness project for my county on child abuse. We held the event at the Court House. I contacted the Sherriff, Mayor, Senator, and Representative to speak at the event. I also created a mentoring group in which I wrote lessons and organized activities for children. As campus representative for Kanakuk Kamps I have experience organizing and hosting meetings. As alumnae relations officer I have had experience contacting alumnae to keep communications and organize events within my sorority.

I am innovative and creative. I enjoy organizing and would love to create events to help our chapter expand.

Share a strategy you may use to boost student involvement in MSF meetings and events.

Policy teams are a great idea for student involvement. I think these could be strengthened by breaking into teams and having more meetings focused on interactions within the teams. Outreach-Not many people know how about Mississippi First around campus, by passing out fliers, going to greek houses we could encourage people outside of the PPL department to become involved with MSF. Providing a meal or snacks could incentivize more involvement.

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