Senate fires back about carrying weapons

Parker Willis

After a debate and allocating some funds, the Missouri Southern Student Senate meeting got a little serious.

Valerie German, Senate vice-president, brought it to the attention of the Senate that earlier in the week she called the Department of Public Safety to ask what its plan is if someone brought a gun onto campus. She said she was left on hold for a long time the first time she called, before she gave up and called back. This time she received an answer which was, according to her, “We don’t allow firearms on campus so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

She said this disturbed her a little because of the recent incidents in the news, including a college campus shooting in Canada. This brought on a short debate, with several points brought up.

One senator mentioned a panic button had been installed by the tunnel after an incident last year, but if anyone pushes the button the response time is a minimum of 15 to 30 minutes. Another senator mentioned while members of the DPS are hired as campus security, they are not a weapon-carrying police force and won’t be until Ken Kennedy, head of the DPS, can make the DPS its own police force. Then, not only will the school have to pay members of DPS more, it will also have to hire a new staff of more qualified officers.

The debate ended when John Carr, Senate president, said if the senators want a change then there should be a resolution written up. He suggested the resolution should include adding a section about this type of emergency into the student handbook.

The Senate also had another discussion about how much it should allocate to the Collegiate Middle Level Association for an upcoming trip to the group’s national annual conference in Nashville. The group requested $1,012. Two motions were brought up, one to allocate $700 and another to allocate $210. After a short debate, Senate ended up giving the group $700.

Carr said he was proud of his senators for questioning the allocation of the full amount and for looking into every detail of the allocation request.

He said its nice to see the senators not just “throwing money” at clubs for any reason.

The Senate also had two first readings. The Kinesiology Club is asking for $1000 to attend a state convention. Also, the International Club is asking for $1000 to take 25 international students to Silver Dollar City.

Carr also mentioned that Doug Carnahan, dean of students, said he will bring up the non-smoking resolution the Senate passed last week to University President Julio León later in the week.

Senate will have its next meeting Oct. 25 in the House of Lords Room of the Billingsly Student Center.