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UPDATE: Two drop from MSA race, election still on after inappropriate tweets resurface

UPDATE Two drop from MSA race election still on after inappropriate tweets resurface

COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: The Missouri Student Association Board of Election Commissioners lifted the suspension on the presidential election and campaigning for the position.

Joe Sell, director of the BEC, told ABC 17 News that the group would not sanction or remove any of the candidates from the ballot for inappropriate tweets that some made years ago.

"I can only serve infractions based on things said during the campaign, period," Sell said.

Two presidential candidates, Claire Jacobs and Blaine Thomas, said on their campaign Twitter pages that they would drop out of the race. Both said a statement would be released tomorrow.

Cassie Florido and Brett Stover, reporters at the student radio station KCOU, compiled the questionable tweets on Monday. Stover began releasing screenshots of the tweets on Monday night. Some are more than five years old while others are as recent as 2016.

The tweets from presidential candidates Jacobs and Thomas, as well as vice presidential hopeful Caius Gillen, contain slurs used for African-Americans, women and members of the LGBT community. ABC 17 News has blurred out the slurs.

Several tweets from Jacobs feature use of the word "n****".

At least two tweets from Thomas contain "f*****", a word commonly used to deride gay people.

Gillen tweeted a derogatory word for women, as well as a joke about a racial stereotype for African-Americans.

Gillen sent an apology on Monday night for the tweets.

Both MSA president and vice president earn a salary for 12 months of service. The president made $6,600 and the vice president made $4,500, according to the FY 2018 MSA budget.

The MSA Executive Cabinet said it was disappointed in the remarks.

"At the University of Missouri, we expect every student leader to embody Respect and those seeking the highest of offices should be held to the highest of standards," the statement said.

Jordyn Denne, an MU freshman, said she felt the candidates should be taken off the ballot. As a student of color, she said the tweets made her feel unsafe with people vying for student leadership. Denne said she also combs her social media activity at the end of every day to make sure she hadn't said anything hurtful or embarrassing.

"You have to watch the things that you say," Denne said. "If you wouldn't say those things directly or to that person's face, you shouldn't just say it on social media."

The MSA elections will take place from March 19 to 21.

ORIGINAL: The election for the Missouri Students Association has been suspended after inappropriate tweets. 

A spokesperson for the association said on Monday night, tweets were made by members of the 2018 slates for MSA president and vice president and were brought to the attention of the student body. 

The spokesperson continued to say that the association is disappointed  by the remarks and expects every student leader to embody respect. 

The election will be suspended for Tuesday and the MSA will be reviewing the next steps and the candidacy of the slates. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new quotes and information from its original version, titled "Election for Missouri Students Association suspended after inappropriate tweets."

 


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