The Maneater

MSA mock senate session emphasizes procedural education

The session, which was the first of its kind for the MSA Senate, aimed to teach senate rules to prospective senators before they join the legislature.

The Missouri Student Association senate held its first-ever mock senate session Sept. 6, where a smooth landing for new senators was the top priority.

The event was six days before at-large senator elections begin at the first full senate meeting of the 2018-2019 academic year. At-large senators are elected by the senate body itself and hold their seat on a semester-by-semester basis, senate speaker Jake Addington said.

Addington said he hopes the mock session may alleviate confusion incoming senators feel about senate procedures.

“Whenever [at-large senators] join senate, they’re just kind of thrust into everything,” Addington said. “We decided that what would be best is having an event where anyone can come and learn how our procedure works.”

During the mock session, Addington explained the progression of events that occur during a full senate meeting and vocabulary used by senators. MSA Operations Chair Mathew Swan also outlined time limits for speeches and debate.

Addington said the senate reserves 20 seats for at-large senators, but any vacant academic seats may also be filled by an at-large senator for a semester.

Freshman and at-large candidate Grant Mertz said the meeting gave him needed background information for joining student government.

“I’ve always had an interest in politics, but I’ve never actually been in a senate body,” Mertz said. “I’m sure I didn’t get everything, but it always helps to at least get some experience before going into something.”

Addington said the senate reserves 20 seats for at-large senators, but any vacant academic seats may also be filled by an at-large senator for a semester.

Freshman Cameron Furbeck, who was previously hesitant about running for senate, said the event helped solidify her decision to seek an at-large seat.

“I wasn’t 100 percent either way, but I definitely think that I’ll run now,” Furbeck said. “Everyone was very informative on the process that you have to go through.”

Addington said establishing the rules to new senators before sessions begin is critical to keeping the senate functioning as normal.

“There’s a lot of rules in place,” Addington said. “We want people to understand all of those things and what they mean before actually getting into the stuff that we do for real.”

Edited by Caitlyn Rosen | crosen@themaneater.com

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