MSA Senate passes second chief of staff bill

Chief of staff will be a paid position.
Missouri Students Association President Jordan Paul explains his reasoning for making the second chief of staff a paid position during a meeting Wednesday in the new student center. After much debate, Senate approved the paid position.

The Missouri Students Association Senate passed a bill to create a second chief of staff position after heavy debate Wednesday night.

Although the bill was first proposed by President Jordan Paul at the Senate's last meeting two weeks ago, it was not eligible to be voted on until Wednesday.

"This second chief of staff position is more of a trial run to see if this works," Paul said. "If it doesn't, we can discontinue it next year."

The position will serve as a liaison between the MSA auxiliaries and the president. The second chief of staff 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.

Most of the debate concentrated on whether the second chief of staff should be a paid position. Although members of the MSA executive branch receive salary, members of the legislation do not.

"I think it's unfortunate that in the MSA executive branch we equate good work with being paid," MSA Senator Phyllis Williams said. "I think that students who do work and don't get paid do the best work on campus."

Paul indicated that he would choose his former presidential campaign opponent Joe Fessehaye for the second chief of staff position, saying the position would provide a more direct line of communication between auxiliaries and the president.

MSA Operations Committee Chairwoman Amanda Shelton spoke in favor of the bill and supported supplying the second chief of staff position with a salary.

"Although people who aren't paid for the work they do in MSA, such as myself, can still devote themselves to their job, if you're paid for the work you do then you can spend more time on it," Shelton said. "I think the value of this investment is worth the risk."

The bill passed with 16 voting in favor, four voting against and one senator, freshman Josh Travis, abstaining.

The Senate also voted unanimously to adopt revisions made to the Board of Elections Commissioners bylaws by Shelton and a few other senators.

"One of the changes we've made automatically pushes an election back one week in the event of a technical difficulty," Shelton said. "Hopefully that will cause less of a headache for us and keep us from getting bogged down so we can focus on things other than setting a date."

Shelton said the revisions significantly cut down on the size of the handbook and it's restrictions on campaigns.

"The BEC used to dictate the quantity of campaign materials but they won't any longer under the new bylaws," Shelton said. "Now, there are much fewer restrictions on campaign materials."

Shelton was also nominated for Senate speaker, along with Senator Ian Krause, at Wednesday night's meeting. Senators can be nominated until the election Feb. 25 and the new speaker March 11.

There were also several people confirmed to new positions. Junior Erica Zucco was confirmed as Academic Affairs chairwoman, former BEC Chairman Justin Mohn was confirmed as a member of the student court and Williams and MSA Senator Sean Haynes were confirmed as executive members of the BEC. Zucco and Mohn are both former members of The Maneater staff.

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