Senate fills vacant seats, reviews parliamentary procedure

Parker Willis

After a few misunderstandings in parliamentary procedure, Missouri Southern’s Student Senate ended its Sept. 27 meeting with five new Senators.

Grant Bricker, Tim Fisher, John Conrace, Boryana Gorgieba and Julie Ebbsmeyer were all voted into the Senate. However, one applicant did not get in because there wasn’t a seat open in her class.

“Next week and two weeks from now we will fill all the vacancies regardless of the grade,” said John Carr, Senate president.

“Right now, we’re filling based on grade. How many vacancies we have per grade and so for the people who didn’t get in this week, in two weeks if we still have vacancies they’ll get voted on again.”

But what stood out about the voting process was the amount of time it took to do it. With all of the new senators present, the procedures for voting were not all understood completely, which was a concern for the new parliamentarian, Alex Vassilev.

But after some explaining, Vassilev moved the procedures through the motions smoothly although he said there shouldn’t have been that big of a hang-up to begin with.

“We’re using the Robert’s Rules of parliamentary procedures, the simplified version,” Vassilev said. “Which contains only 10 types of motions you can address and move to. And those are quite specific in the order to which they should be addressed.

“That order is easy to remember, and should be fairly easy for new and current senators to adopt these practices. This insures that the procedures are properly addressed and we move in an orderly fashion.”

But Vassilev did credit the delays to the inexperience of some senators and expects as the Senate moves further into the year these procedures will be much easier for senators to understand.

“Although most of the senators speaking today were senators with some experience on Senate, I think it will just take a meeting or two to get everybody to address the rules and then we won’t have any problems with procedures anymore,” Vassilev said.

But one thing is sure of Senate. There seems to be enthusiasm about being involved.

“This is the most ideas we’ve had. We have a lot of senators with really good ideas and good ambition,” said Kristen Earnest, Senate secretary.

“If we can carry through with all these ideas it’s going to be one of the best Senate years that we’ve had since I’ve been on Senate and I’ve been on for three years. So I’m excited.”

One newly elected senator credited his campus involvement to The Chart.

“I read [an article in The Chart recently about how students need to take their role a little more seriously and I’ve had some really great experiences in all the clubs that I’ve been in here at school, and I know that they couldn’t have done it without the help of student senate. So I’m here to help out other students,” said Tim Fisher, junior senator.

One idea is already making its way through the system. The Senate wants to develop a bulletin board so it can post everything that is going on in Senate for all of the student body to see.

“It [the bulletin board] has been brought up at the student involvement committee meeting and now they’re working on it,” said Valerie German, Senate vice president.

Now Senate has to figure out how much it’s going to cost and where in the Lions’ Den it’s going to hang, along with the specifics of what is wanted on the board. Then, next week it will be brought up in front of the entire Senate for discussion.

The meeting also had a first reading of an appropriation request for Delta Epsilon Chi to attend a national leadership conference in New York.

In total there were 32 senators present, with four senators absent.

“This meeting went a little bit slower than the rest of them will probably go because we had to fill vacancies, and that always takes a lot of time,” Carr said.

“I was really pleased with the people we voted on tonight. They all seem like they will be really good senators,” Carr said.