Who represents you at MU: a guide to student governments

MSA controls a $1.6 million budget and LBC is the country’s only university-funded black student government. Find out more about these and other organizations.

Missouri Students Association

Why should you care? MSA controls a $1.6 million budget made up of student fees.

Purpose: MSA is the official undergraduate student government of MU. The association performs many services, including communicating with administrators about student issues, organizing student activities and funding auxiliary organizations such as STRIPES and Truman’s Closet.

Funding: Every undergraduate students pays MSA $21.75 in student fees.

Organizational structure: MSA has an executive, judicial and legislative branch.

The executive branch consists of the president, vice president and three departments: the Department of Student Communications, the Department of Student Activities and the Department of Student Services. DSC handles internal and external communications for the association, DSA organizes events such as concerts and movie nights, and DSS works to implement solutions to student problems.

The judicial branch consists of the Student Court, which rules on cases concerning the constitution and bylaws, and the Board of Elections Commissioners, which oversees presidential and senate elections.

The legislative branch, led by the Senate speaker, is made up of of six committees: Academic Affairs, Budget, Social Justice, Campus and Community Relations, Student Affairs and Operations. The Operations Committee reviews internal processes of the association and CCRC advocates on behalf of students with Columbia City Council. The other three committees create projects to establish services for students, often communicating with administrators to try to change university policies.

Representation: In the semesterly academic elections, students in each academic unit elect representatives proportionate to their college’s population. During “at-large” elections, the Senate body votes in additional representatives. All Senate terms last one year.

Meetings: MSA Senate committees meet at various times every Tuesday starting with Legislative Cabinet at 6 p.m. Full Senate meets every other Wednesday at 5 p.m in Leadership Auditorium. All meetings are open to the public.

Residence Halls Association

Why should you care? All students who live in residence halls pay a social fee to RHA. The association is also responsible for creating certain policies in cooperation with the Department of Residential Life. Recently, the association sponsored a new laundry fee to replace the old per-load system.

Purpose: Every student living in a residence hall is a member of the association. The association hosts events, communicates with the Department of Residential Life and provides funds for auxiliary and partner programs such as STRIPES and SHAPE.

Funding: Every student living in a residence hall pays a $15 social fee. Of that fee, $5.60 goes to RHA and $9.40 to floor and hall governments. Last semester, RHA passed a proposal to increase the social fee to $20, but the increase will not take effect unless approved by the Department of Residential Life and the Board of Curators.

Organizational structure: RHA also has executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch consists of the Executive Board: the president, vice president, national communications coordinator, secretary, finance coordinator, director of diversity and inclusivity, director of communications, sustainability coordinator and programming coordinator.

The legislative branch, or Congress, is composed of the speaker and representatives from each hall. The committees are Residential Living, which communicates with the Department of Residential Life and Campus Dining Services; Programming, which organizes events; Advocacy, which advocates for student well-being and inclusivity; and Operations, which reviews the constitution and legislation.

Representation: Each hall is allotted a certain number of representatives based on population. Representatives are selected at the beginning of the year.

Meetings: RHA Congress meets every Monday at 6:30 pm. at Pershing Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

Legion of Black Collegians

Why should you care? LBC is the only university-funded black student government in the country. Black student unions and other groups present at other schools are not funded through their universities.

Purpose: “We are the leading voice on campus working to eradicate ignorance and promote positive change through education, motivation and advocacy for Black students at Mizzou,” the LBC website states. The legion advocates for black students, runs programming, and provides funding to umbrella organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists and the LBC Gospel Choir.

Funding: LBC receives a portion of the $3.42 Multicultural Student Organizations fee paid by every student.

Organizational structure: LBC also has executive, legislative and judicial branches. The executive branch is led by the president and has five committees: the Political Committee, the Finance Committee, the Activities Committee, the Communications Committee and the Freshman Action Team Committee. All representatives and senators are required to serve on one of the executive committees. General Assembly meetings of the whole body are led by the Executive Cabinet, with the vice president presiding as the speaker of congress.

The judicial branch is made up of no more than 10 students who are also members of the Political Committee. The Political Committee chairperson designates a chief justice to preside over the student court. The court has the authority to rule on cases regarding the legion’s constitution and bylaws.

Representation: Every National Pan-Hellenic Council organization, umbrella organization and residence hall floor is allowed to select a representative at the beginning of the year. Any member of LBC is also allowed to run as a senator. Senators are elected by the body at the beginning of the year. All undergraduate students are eligible for membership in LBC.

Meetings: LBC Congress meets every Wednesday, and executive committees meet alternating Wednesdays.

Four Front

Why should you care? Four Front is an organization made up of many organizations. The council seeks to strengthen underrepresented communities by uniting them.

Purpose: Four Front is a minority student government that aims to address various social justice issues on campus.

Funding: Four Front receives a portion of the $3.42 Multicultural Student Organizations fee paid by every student.

Organizational structure: Four Front is a council with a chairperson who presides over meetings. The council is made up of representatives from different minority and social justice organizations. Four Front often partners with constituent organizations to help them organize programs for their respective organizations. The organization also holds its own events and works with the Multicultural Center.

Representation: Each constituent organization selects one representative to attend council. Represented organizations include LBC, the Muslim Student Organization, the Jewish Student Organization, Four Directions: Indigenous Peoples Group, the Feminist Student Union and the Asian American Association.

Meetings: The council meets every other Thursday at 6 p.m. at varying locations.

Edited by Nancy Coleman | ncoleman@themaneater.com

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