MSA passes allocation act

Vice President Colleen Hoffman may allocate up to $1,500 without approval.
Missouri Students Association Senate Speaker Jonathan Mays listens to a debate on budget allocations during a meeting Wednesday. A bill to allow up to $1,500 to be transferred without Operations Committee approval passed the Senate.

The Missouri Students Association Senate voted to raise the limit for budgetary allocations from $500 to $1,500 Wednesday night at the full Senate meeting.

The act allows MSA Vice President Colleen Hoffmann, who is in charge of MSA's financial matters and proposed the legislation, to allocate as much as $1,500 without the prior approval of the Operations Committee.

"This act will make matters a little more easy for myself and the budget committee," Hoffmann said. "Looking at the big picture, $1,500 is not a lot of money in MSA's overall budget, and this will make it easier for us to transfer money quicker and more efficiently."

The act originally proposed to raise the cap to $5,000. The amount was decreased to $2,500 when it was proposed to the Operations Committee Tuesday and then again to $1,500 after the committee discussed the proposal.

Members of Operations were reluctant to relax the checks the committee had over MSA's budget, but approved the legislation after a few changes were made.

"I don't think transparency is something we should give up for the sake of efficiency," Operations member Josh Travis said. "This act is also asking the Senate to lax a legislative check on the system."

In addition to decreasing the new proposed cap from $2,500 to $1,500, the Operations committee amended the bill to ensure they would still receive documentation concerning all transfers, even ones not requiring their approval.

"We wanted to specify that even if the amount is under the new cap, the Operations committee still wants to be aware that money was allocated," Chairwoman Amanda Shelton said.

There was also debate in Senate regarding the impression the act could give to students.

"I think this act gives mixed signals to the public because we're raising the amount of money that can be transferred without justification," Senator Evan Wood said. "I'd like to see the cap raised but I'd also like to see more of a reason for the number we chose."

The Senate also unanimously approved the appointment of Joe Fessehaye to the second chief of staff position. The position was created after heavy debate during the last Senate meeting two weeks ago. MSA President Jordan Paul proposed creating the second chief of staff position, which he said would act as a direct liaison between the president and MSA auxiliaries to improve communication.

Fessehaye has one year of experience in the MSA Senate and serves as student radio staion KCOU's assistant general manager, a position he said he will step down from to serve as second chief of staff.

"Between his experience in KCOU and MSA I thought he would be a good choice," Paul said. "Not only does he know how we operate, but he knows how our auxiliaries operate."

Fessehaye ran against Paul in MSA's presidential election last semester.

"During the election, Jordan liked some of the ideas I had regarding auxiliaries," Fessehaye said. "I've already done some work with STRIPES helping them come up with incentives for their volunteers and I was at the center of the KCOU ordeal last semester."

As second chief of staff, Fessehaye will receive a salary identical to the current chief of staff's at Missouri's minimum wage of $7.05 per hour for a maximum of six hours per week. Fessehaye said he plans to meet weekly to semi-weekly with student-run auxiliaries, such as KCOU and MUTV/Channel 23 and monthly with professionally run auxiliaries, such as the Crafts Studio.

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