MSA looks over new system to elect chairpersons

Chairperson elections previously were made up of mostly undergraduates.
Missouri Students Association Vice President Colleen Hoffmann presents the budget for the fiscal year 2010 and answers questions from senators during Wednesday's meeting. MSA passed legislation modifying the procedure for committee chairperson appointments.

Correction Appended

The Missouri Students Association Senate read over two pieces of legislation Wednesday regarding MSA's process for appointing new committee chair positions and the Student Fee Review Committee.

The Senate read over a bill to include another step in MSA's committee chairperson approval process. Under the organization's current system, chairpersons are approved only by MSA Operations Committee and Senate. The new system will allow committees to participate in the approval of their own committee chairperson and will add a third step to the committee chairperson appointment process.

Academic Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Ian Krause sponsored the bill and presented it to Senate on Wednesday.

"The bill is intended to give the other five committees, other than operations, the ability to vote for their new chairperson," Krause said.

MSA's Operations Committee is the only committee able to vote on their new committee chairperson.

"This lets the committee have the opportunity to ask their potential new leader a few questions before the applicant goes to Operations Committee and full Senate," Krause said.

MSA unanimously passed legislation to adjust the way SFRC's chairperson is appointed. MSA and the Graduate Professional Council created SFRC to make recommendations concerning student fees. The two organizations have been working to eliminate the potential for undergraduate or graduate bias in the appointment process for the new SFRC chairperson.

The legislation allows one more graduate student to vote on the new SFRC chairperson, giving undergraduate and graduate students three votes each.

"Before, there was an undergraduate majority in the number of votes undergraduates had when selecting a new SFRC chair, and GPC wanted to make sure that didn't continue," MSA President Jordan Paul said. "The bill also gives the outgoing SFRC chairperson a vote in the event of a tie."

GPC and MSA also chose to provide the SFRC chairperson with a stipend at the end of their term. The amount of money given to the chairperson will depend on changes in minimum wage. The cost of the stipend will be divided evenly between MSA and GPC.

MSA Vice President Colleen Hoffmann also presented the organization's 2009-20010 budget to Senate Wednesday. The Senate is expected to approve the budget at its regular meeting April 15.

Senate confirmed freshman Josh Travis as the new Operations Committee chairman. Travis, the former Operations Committee vice chairman, replaces Senate Speaker Amanda Shelton, who left the position last month.

"I think Amanda's done a great job as Operations chair," Travis said. "I have a lot of things I'd like to do as the new chairman and one of them is making sure our committee knows what our responsibilities are and what our boundaries are."

The role of the Operations Committee has recently been at the center of a debate between MSA senators over whether the committee is overstepping its boundaries in certain cases.

"I feel like senators have been automatically looking just at the Operations Committee for leadership on certain issues and I think that needs to stop because we should be looking to each other and not merely relying on one committee," Travis said.

The April 10 report "MSA approves new system to elect chairpersons" stated that the bill to change the committee chairperson approval process was passed. The bill will be voted on at the next full senate meeting. The Maneater regrets the error.

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