The Missouri Students Association will create its Student Conduct Committee review group soon. Currently, Senate Speaker Jake Sloan is creating a date for the first meeting.
The group was initially proposed in a piece of legislation written by Ben Levin, recently resigned Academic Affairs chairman. Despite the Senate’s rejection of the bill, Sloan created the committee.
“The bill, in my opinion, was seen as a little bit hostile, but that’s all a matter of speculation,” Sloan said. “The fact of the matter is that I said I would create a group anyway. If there was no interest in creating the group, I wouldn’t have done it, but there was interest.”
After the bill was rejected in Senate on Dec. 5, 12 senators approached Sloan with interest in participating in the committee. Five senators have been part of deciding the date for the first meeting.
Anyone, even those not involved in MSA, can participate in the discussion, Sloan said.
Levin said he supports the creation of the group.
“I think it’s a good change to hammer out some consensus on what we think exists within the Senate,” Levin said. “In the past, it’s fallen apart, people haven’t communicated with each other and hopefully this discussion group will find that consensus and move forward.”
Senator Taylor Major authored the two pieces of legislation that prompted MSA’s debate of the Student Conduct Committee.. He said he is in favor of the group.
“The committee helps ensure that students have a voice on such an important issue,” Major said in an email. “I look forward to seeing what the committee accomplishes.”
Sloan said he wants to begin discussion and then narrow the group’s concerns into individual questions regarding the Student Conduct Committee. These questions will be brought to Donnell Young, the Office of Student Conduct senior coordinator.
Sloan said the advantage to creating the group is it will foster a less formal, more open discussion than Senate.
“One of the main problems with Senate in my mind is it’s hard to encourage dialogue,” Sloan said. “They may be less encouraged to express problems in a public forum with 63 senators and The Maneater reporting on it.”
Sloan said he might ask Young to participate in one of the initial group discussions.
Levin said he wants to pass a resolution outlining the issues the group agrees on before discussing with Young. This idea has been debated among people in Senate committee meetings.
“I think as senators we have to be careful when we are representing students and when we’re representing our own personal views,” Levin said. “Coming forward with a resolution gives the appearance that we stand for more than us as individuals, that this has passed by a representative body. I view it as key to having a legitimate conversation with Donell Young — not as myself but as someone who represents the will of students.”
Although Sloan only has a month left in his term as Senate Speaker, he plans to finish his involvement with the group provided the next Senate speaker allows him.