Student Senate plays a part in campus improvement

The campus of Missouri Southern has much to offer its community, from the Lion Co-op to a new lactation for nursing mothers.

However, many have probably noticed other additions and changes around campus, such as the furniture outside of bookstore in Billingsly Student Center, or the banners for Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) in the Lions Den.

With a goal to improve campus, Student Senate is responsible for changes like these.

Founded in 1939, according to Kylee Bond, Senate campus relations chair, Student Senate began when a group of students sought to strengthen the connection between students and university administration.

With 24 students currently involved, Student Senate officers today carry this mission on and help to promote the image of Southern.

The way this happens is that senators are able to delegate state appropriations to RSOs and even to individual students to help them to become a better, professional student.

“The most rewarding this is seeing our students’ lives improve because of something we did,” said Bond, a junior mass communication and political science major.

Along with past campus improvement projects, committee member Reid Davis said that Student Senate also has upcoming projects. These include retrofitting campus water fountains with water bottle filling stations.

“We’re going to try and reduce waste as well as provide students more sanitary means of filling up their water [bottles],” said Davis, a sophomore emergency medical services major.

One upcoming project involves remodeling the Lions Den. According to Bond, Student Senate appropriated approximately $25,000 for the project.

Remodeling will take place over the summer.

“We’re looking to get new furniture, have a new floor plan, be able to seat more people, and just ,make it look nicer” Bond said.

Student Senate’s Campus Development Committee will take charge in approaching contractors and get pricing.

Davis said that working in-house would be ideal. Not only would it lower the price of the project, it would help unify Student Senate with other parts of the University.

However, he said, they have worked with contractors in the community, which helps with community outreach.

Proposing ideas

If students have ideas to propose to Student Senate, the formal process includes filing out a resolution form in the Student Affairs office. Bond said that students can also message Student Senate via social media or speak to an officer directly.

Proposed ideas go to the Campus Development Committee and they decide what can be done and make a plan of action, which includes deciding costs and other details.

If the committee approves of the idea, the committee head will bring it to the senate body to share the details and costs. Then the senate body will put it to a vote. Majority votes approve idea proposals, and allow them to come to fruition.

Getting involved

Students interested in Student Senate may go to the Student Affairs and fill out a petition to run for a selected office. For their name to reach the ballot, they must have 50 signatures vouching for them. New senators can be current students or even incoming freshman.

When elections approach, then campaign for votes.

Student Senate recently had its election and has its new officers.

Sarah Schultz is the President, the Vice President is Gil Johnson, Chloe Maye is the secretary, and the treasurer is Haley Ward.

General Senate Body Meetings are held every other Wednesday in the Billingsly Student Center Board Room at 5:30 p.m. On the off-Wednesdays, the Senate committees meet to plan and discuss projects.