An official process for how the Missouri Students Association adds and removes auxiliaries is in the works.
After six months of planning, writing and frequent meetings with the auxiliary coordinators and Director of Auxiliaries Sandy Patel, Budget Committee chairwoman Shelby Catalano and Operations Committee chairman Ben Bolin presented Bill 53-22 to MSA Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 12.
The bill would further define chapter seven in the MSA bylaws for the protection of MSA auxiliaries.
“With the changing of the times, there’s been more needs on campus that we, as MSA, feel we need to fulfill, and I guess that’s what brought the process along in general,” Catalano said.
Currently, there is no legislation regarding these processes. An auxiliary could be removed from auxiliary status in just two weeks, Bolin said.
The issue of adding and/or removing auxiliaries was not a discussion until last year when Bike Share applied for auxiliary status and was shut down, Catalano said.
“When Truman’s Closet first presented its idea of becoming an auxiliary, the question really started stirring then,” Catalano said.
Under this legislation, an MSA service will be given four months upon its request to become an auxiliary. In these four months, it must prove that it can serve all MU students, provide a four-year budget plan and must appoint an auxiliary director.
“It also raises the bar for what auxiliaries need to go through before they become an auxiliary,” Bolin said.
Every four years, originally five before the bill was amended, auxiliaries must undergo review by a review board to see if they have successfully executed their plans.
This review board consists of the MSA vice president, chief justice, budget chair, operations chair, secretary of auxiliaries, the senate speaker and the adviser of the auxiliary in question. For auxiliaries found at risk for removal, there is a repeal process too, which does not currently exist in the bylaws.
“If there is somebody who is removed from the system who is able to objectively say whether or not they went against what we’ve stated in these bylaws for these auxiliaries to follow (then they are able to repeal),” Bolin said.
The members of the review board were debated both at Senate on Feb. 12 and during the cabinet meeting the previous Tuesday.
The question was regarding the power given to the court justice. Catalano and Bolin both believed that having the court justice on the review board would create a system of checks and balances between the branches.
Other members of cabinet thought that it would give the court justice too much power and requested that the bill be amended to have the MSA president take the justice’s place. These amendments have been proposed.
Catalano and Bolin have already met with the directors from all 12 MSA auxiliaries, as well as Patel.
Patel was approached late November by Catalano and Bolin with the bill.
“It’s nice to know that there are standards set for a new service that wants to be an auxiliary," Patel said. "The biggest concern that current auxiliaries have now is that there is a notion for anyone that wants to run for MSA president has to create a new service in order for him or her to be successful. (Now) there’s a pretty strict set of rules. … It protects them and protects MSA as a whole for the future.”
Patel is optimistic that the bill will equally benefit each auxiliary regardless of their different services.
“Some parts of the legislation have to be vague enough to fit all the auxiliaries,” Patel said. “Every auxiliary is so different and pertains to a certain set of students or has a different mission statement than another.”
KCOU and MUTV Student Media Coordinator Mark Johnson was one of the most vocal about the bill, Patel said.
Johnson meets with Patel regularly, and the bill has been brought up on multiple occasions.
“From a staff member’s standpoint, it’s … kind of a sigh of relief,” Johnson said, “It’s nice to know what students expect of the professional staff … and what they expect from the auxiliaries now.”
Johnson received a copy of the completed bill from Senate Speaker Mckenzie Morris.
“It seems like they’re really trying to cover all the bases," Johnson said. "(We now have) an idea of what an auxiliary (is). … They treated it very fairly. It’s something that I think future people at MSA that are thinking about creating an auxiliary in the future will have as good structure.”
The bill will go through second reading and will be voted on Wednesday, Feb. 26.