The Briefing: BEC announces election dates, MSA proposes pre-law diversity conference sponsorship

BEC announced a Feb. 21 date for its MSA presidential debate, and the MSA senate’s budget committee will consider a bill that would help fund a conference for black pre-law students.

CORRECTION: The Missouri Students Association senate's bill would not establish the Pre-Law Diversity Conference. The Missouri Black Pre-Law Students Association hosts the conference, while MSA is one of the event's multiple sponsors. The article has been updated to reflect this. The Maneater regrets this error.

The Missouri Students Association senate is considering a bill that would partially sponsor a diversity conference hosted by MU’s Black Pre-Law Student Association.

Bill 58-18 suggests $2,500 in sponsorship funds for the conference, set to take place March 9, which would introduce careers in law to students from marginalized communities. A C&R request — used by auxiliaries and departments under the MSA umbrella to request funds — of $1,000 is listed in the conference's budget.

“This conference will serve as an entry point for Missouri students interested in the legal field, but also for the University of Missouri community to participate in an event tailored to diverse pre-law students,” the bill stated.

The measure, which would draw funding from MSA’s reserve funds, was authored by Campus Affairs Chairwoman Kaitlyn Sawyer and Social Justice Vice Chair Key Banks.

Previous BPLSA initiatives have included mock trial and mentorship programs for black students looking to learn more about legal work, according to a presentation on the organization’s OrgSync site.

As of Jan. 29, the senate’s budget committee was considering the bill, senate speaker Jake Addington said in an OrgSync post.

MU’s Board of Elections Commissioners also announced Jan. 29 on Twitter its candidate nominating and debate dates for the upcoming MSA presidential election.

Candidates must submit nominating petitions, which allow for ballot placement, by 5 p.m. on Feb. 5, according to BEC’s tweet. BEC monitors any measure that students vote on, such as the MSA president or referendums.

BEC will hold its annual presidential debate on Feb. 21, almost two weeks before presidential voting opens on March 4.

MU students will also elect MSA senators to academic seats this semester. Academic seat holders represent the college their major resides in, and there will be 22 seats up for election when the March election takes place, according to MSA’s senate roster.

Unlike at-large senate seats, which MSA fills throughout each semester, academic senators are elected to a year-long term during BEC’s November and March elections.

Voting for the MSA presidential and senatorial elections opens March 4 and runs through March 6, according to MSA senate’s OrgSync site.

Edited by Anne Clinkenbeard | aclinkenbeard@themaneater.com

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