MSA aims to increase membership through holding town halls, among new plans

MSA towns halls and committee meetings to allow more open-ended conversations and questions with students.
The MSA slates current President Jennifer Sutterer and Vice President Mary O’Brien at The Maneater debate on Feb. 27, 2019. Photo by Staff Photographer Madeline Carter

MSA town halls will not aim to recruit students, rather it serves to provide students a platform to learn about MSA's current plans and voice their concerns about campus issues.

MSA town halls will not aim to recruit students, rather it serves to provide students a platform to learn about MSA's current plans and voice their concerns about campus issues.

While most Missouri Students Association Senate positions have remained filled since last April, two executive position seats need to be filled. However, the last senate position was officially filled last Tuesday, which was the operations chair.

Overall, MSA Senate Speaker Jacob Addington has plans to increase participation within the organization, whether that be through current or potential members.

“They need to know our bylaws, constitution [and] rules. I will typically meet with a candidate one-on-one and ask them questions … and say these are the types of things you’ll need to be ready for,” Addington said.

One implementation that has helped the past year is requiring every committee to bring at least one MU administrator to a meeting. Full senate leadership and committee meetings alternate every other week on Tuesdays. The next committee meeting will be Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the MU Student Center.

“We really want to be having those conversations with administrators that are going to affect the student body and really make sure we are engaging those conversations that our students want us to have,” Addington said.

Examples of these conversations would be the Title IX process and Mizzou Libraries’ ability to work well with modern-day technology.

In order for students to have their voices heard more clearly and for representatives to be fully engaged with the student body, MSA town halls will start on Sept. 19 at Ketcham Auditorium in Lafferre Hall. The MSA body will focus on developing MSA priorities for the semester and wants to open up the floor for students who have any questions. There will be three different town halls. These town halls will inform students about what MSA is working on and to encourage students to voice their concerns about issues on campus, so that MSA can better advocate for students on their behalf.

In addition, election marketing will be pushed further in order to involve students more in the election and running processes. Addington briefly explained that the fall election is typically looked over.

“We are working right now with student affairs marketing to come up with some type of plan to promote [participation in elections] … the reason why we are pushing it as hard as we are is we have not filled our seats all of the time that I have been here and I am in my fourth year,” Addington said.

Currently, there are 51 senators, even though there are 81 seats that are available to students.

MSA Senate has seen most of its representation from the College of Arts & Science and the College of Business and is making efforts to bridge the gap to recruit more students from other colleges. Communication with deans from various schools is one thing that MSA will do to grasp the attention of potential candidates.

Edited by Ben Scott | bscott@themaneater.com

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