Residence students to ship care packages to soldiers

In 2011, more than 1.1 million United States military personnel were deployed overseas, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Knowing this, the Residence Hall Association (RHA) at Missouri Southern will be leading a philanthropy event on April 21, starting at 6 p.m. in the Student Life Center, to pack and send care packages to men and women serving the country abroad.

“We thought, ‘How awesome would it be to take our mission and incorporate it by basically giving a taste of home to our men and women in uniform?’” said Corey Garr.

RHA will choose a platoon overseas to send the goods to. Garr hopes to find one that a current Southern student previously served with.

“When I think of men and women in uniform, I know that they fight like heck for us, so I want to fight like heck for them,” said Garr.

According to Garr, all of RHA’s money is earmarked at the beginning of the semester, forcing them to find other ways to fund the drive. As a registered student organization, RHA decided to seek funds from Student Senate, who is able to appropriate up to $1,000 to organizations if the cause is deemed appropriate.

The idea was pitched to Senate the week before spring break, but wasn’t moved through as quickly as Garr thought or would have liked.

“I thought it was going to be unanimous decision – I was a little disappointed at first,” said Garr. “I’m happy they decided to support the cause like they did.”

On April 1, several dorm side students showed up to show support for the cause at the weekly Senate body meeting where the topic was debated.

Approving money for a fundraiser isn’t typically something Senate appropriates for, which is where a couple of Senators ran into issues with the RHA’s appropriation request.

“We don’t want to set a precedent for organizations to use Senate for everything – where do you draw the line?” Asked Senator Kyle Prisock.

Several Senators holding officer positions, including Vice President Brooklyn Lampe and Parliamentarian Saif Farag backed the cause and encouraged body members to approve the appropriation.

“The Senate has the ability to approve or deny appropriations as they see fit,” said Lampe. “There really shouldn’t be an issue of setting a precedent.”

Farag added, “I agree that this is a great event and I am all for it. It’s a great cause and looks good for Missouri Southern.”

The appropriation request was eventually approved by a vote of 13-5-2.