Act could lead to MSA Facebook application

An MSA Senator researched Facebook applications to increase exposure.
Megan Stroup / Graphic Designer

The Missouri Students Association Operations Committee discussed an act Tuesday to purchase an MSA Facebook application. The committee chose to delay voting on the act until members had more details on the price and the features of the proposed application at their next meeting March 10.

MSA Senator Ryan Morimura presented the act to multiple committees Tuesday night, including the Student Affairs, Multicultural Issues, Academic Affairs and Campus and Community Relations committees, before proposing it to the Operations Committee. He asked the members of the committees for advice on the wording of the legislation and possible features on the application.

Morimura said MSA would benefit more from a Facebook application than a Facebook group or page.

"An application gives MSA the ability to have something like a Web site within Facebook and it's a bit more professional looking than a page or group on Facebook," Morimura said. "You can post announcements, files or a calendar for upcoming events. Plus, you don't have to be an administrator of the application to invite people to join."

MSA is working with the Group Interactive Network System, a company specializing in creating Facebook applications, to produce the application. Morimura said the company would charge around $2,000 for creating the application and MSA's Department of Student Communications said they would possibly provide $1,000 for it. However, a few members of the Operations Committee questioned the possibility of additional costs.

"I'm curious to see if there are any hidden costs, perhaps for extra features on the application," Operations Committee Chairwoman Amanda Shelton said.

The cost of the application would be a recurring annual fee, however, Morimura said he planned to propose the act to the MSA Senate as a one-year trial run, meaning the MSA Senate would vote to continue or discontinue use of the application after one year.

MSA will get the exact projected cost of the application from GIN Systems on Friday and Morimura said he plans to meet with MSA Vice President Colleen Hoffmann to discuss the cost before the Operations Committee or Senate votes on the act.

"The more features we have on the application, the more expensive it will be," Morimura said.

MSA President Jordan Paul said the cost of the application is something that should be weighed into any decision made on the proposal.

"I think this is something we need to research further and perhaps we could talk to more companies than the one we've been communicating with," Paul said. "The $2,000 yearly cost is something we need to consider. It's not just a one-time thing because it's annual."

Morimura said he considered the idea for MSA after the Interfraternity Council had a Facebook application created. Morimura also serves as IFC spokesman.

"The IFC's Facebook application is to increase membership and exposure in a more positive way," Morimura said. "I believe it could work very similarly for MSA."

Morimura will propose the act to the Operations Committee again next Tuesday. If the committee votes to approve the proposal, it will go before the MSA Senate on Wednesday.

"I've looked at a lot of other schools and this has never been done by a student government as far as I know," Morimura said.

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