Student Senate, Speck discuss issues, roles

Amye Buckley

Missouri Southern student leaders are looking forward to a new and better relationship with University leaders.

Student Sentate’s executive committee met with Dr. Bruce Speck on Feb. 13.

“He was so enthusiastic about it,” said Ivy Love, Senate Secretary. “He was coming to us and we were really thrilled to see his enthusiasm in working with us.”

“[He] would like to work with us very closely which is not just refreshing but downright shocking,” said Senate President Tim Fisher, senior history major.

During the past administration Fisher said Senate knew its role and kept to it, but with Speck the body is ready to be more involved. Members applauded the idea of non-scripted dialogue with the University president.

“I think part of it’s just getting his feet wet and understanding how we work and what our makeup is, but I’d like to have him come in and answer some questions we have,” Fisher said. “With him it seems like the sky is wide open and that is difficult for a lot of us to comprehend.”

During the meeting they discussed several topics including the unpaid fee drop earlier this semester and the current and future role of Student Senate.

“We discussed Senate’s role as two-fold: obviously we cover issues that are important to students via resolutions but then we also do the funding side for student groups,” Fischer said.

Currently student resolutions are forwarded to the Faculty Senate for discussion. Fisher said Speck shows an interest in a less limited Senate and hearing from all the voices in the campus community.

“His big concern was why the staff weren’t represented,” Fisher said.

During the meeting other members of Senate commented on their meetings with Speck and his warm reception of students. Plans are in process to have Speck visit the Senate sometime in March, possibly bringing other members of the administration.

During the regular Feb. 13 meeting, senators reviewed a resolution calling for parking regulations to be enforced at the same standard for students, staff and faculty. Melody Salzer, junior psychology major, wants students to be able to have detachable parking permits as some faculty members do. Current Southern policy requires the all parking permits to be permanently affixed to vehicles.

Salzer says the issue is not only a matter of the convenience of switching the tag when temporarily switching cars, but also a security issue.

“It says ‘residence students’ and therefore no matter where the resident student goes in Joplin or whatever they know they live on campus, everybody knows they live on campus out in the community where the students live,” Salzer said.

She pledged to take her cause to the student body.

“I’m going to research this more,” Salzer said. “I’m going to come back with another [resolution] because I feel this is a very important issue.”

Salzer’s motion failed, supported by 14 votes.

Senate approved a $700 appropriation for Sigma Tau Delta as they chair a session at the International Sigma Tau Delta Convention in March. An appropriation request for Southern’s German Club received a first reading. Senate looked into filling three open seats, but the deadline has passed.

“This is the last day to add numbers so Senate is locked as is,” said Danielle Dunn, Senate adviser.