MSA fights Reading Day change

The proposal to move Reading Day to Thursday meets opposition.
Megan Stroup / Graphic Designer

The Missouri Students Association Operations Committee unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday against the Faculty Council's recommended changes to the academic calendar.

The Faculty Council voted last week to recommend changing reading days to Thursdays, with final exams beginning Friday. Under the new policy, exams would continue Monday through Thursday the following week. The change, which will be voted on by the UM system Board of Curators possibly as early as the board's next meeting in April, would give professors extra grading time over the weekend after the first exam day.

However, several committee members discussed the problems the academic calendar change would cause students.

"The Faculty Council's recommended change would essentially eliminate Saturday and Sunday as study days for certain exams," MSA Senator Phyllis Williams said.

Williams, who proposed the resolution, spoke with the Graduate Professional Council on the matter and said she would work with them to pass legislation of their own against the recommendation.

Williams also proposed legislation to hold a referendum to determine student opinion regarding the changes to finals week.

"I think it's important that we kill this proposal to change finals week," Williams said. "We need to be able to show the Board of Curators that multiple student organizations, as well as a large percentage of students, are against it."

The proposal for the referendum won't be eligible to pass the committee until its next meeting because it was not submitted before noon on Tuesday.

Committee membership

Operations also heavily debated internal issues at Tuesday night's meeting. An act to allow senators the option of belonging to a second committee sparked over an hour of discussion.

The act, drafted by Operations Committee Vice Chairman Josh Travis, comes after much discussion within MSA regarding how much power the operations committee should have. Travis said the act would allow people on different committees to participate in Operations as well.

"I think I've realized that a lot of power rests on the few individuals in the operations committee, so I think it'd be a good idea to open our committee up to let people from other committees have a seat if they'd like," Travis said.

If the act passed, MSA would possibly have to restructure the way the majority of its committees meet. Four committees meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday nights, which would cause a problem for senators seeking to participate in more than one committee. However, Operations Committee Chairwoman Amanda Shelton said she would accept having to move committee meetings around.

"For the people who are really motivated to sign up for more than one committee, I think the benefits outweigh the complications this act would cause," Shelton said. "I'm fine with the extra work that will be required to pull this off, on my part."

The committee also debated another clause of the proposal, which would limit the number of operations committee members to 10. After much discussion, the clause was struck from the proposal entirely and the act was tabled until next week.

Open voting records

The Operations committee also passed an act to make the results of roll call votes in the MSA Senate public on the Senate website within 48 hours of the vote. The act will require a record to be kept as to how each senator votes.

Travis, who proposed the legislation, called the act "a step in the right direction in the spirit of transparency and accountability."

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