Senate unanimously approves spending $40,000 on statue

Student Senate came to a decision Wednesday on the proposal of a bronze lion statue to be placed on the Oval. Unanimously, the senate voted to approve spending $40,000 on the project. The senate’s appropriation will be added to an estimated $50,000 in funds acquired from a donor.

“I’m very proud of the senate and happy that they were able to do this and help fund this major project for the University,” Dean of Students Ron Mitchell said. “It will be an icon — a great thing.”

Wednesday was the second reading of the proposal. The reading, a discussion and the vote all took place.

“We have the opportunity to donate a certain portion of our budget towards the funding of the lion statue to be placed on campus,” Ryan Prisock, capital improvement chairman, said during the second reading of the proposal. “Given that it is our 75th anniversary, it would memorialize the efforts of those who have come before and would challenge those who are to come ahead to Southern.”

The proposal stated that the statue would “provide a powerful physical representation of the University’s goals to provide a campus environment that inspires pride and fidelity in its student body.”

The senate’s remaining budget totals $39,365.78 after subtracting its appropriation to the statue project.

“It will serve as a legacy — a way to pave forward and leave behind a better Southern than the one we left behind [found] when we came in,” Prisock said. “It will really capture the ideas and the pride that we have at Missouri Southern.”

“This is an amazing opportunity to take,” Cody Martin, Treasurer, said. “Up until now, senate hasn’t done something this big. We have accumulated for several years and have been saving for a project like this. Why not on our 75th anniversary?”

Noah Triplett, junior senator, spoke about the importance of having the lion as an icon to represent Southern.

“There is a profound lack of unity on campus,” Triplett said. “Our campus has no central icon — nothing to instill our lion pride. This would serve as the thing we need to show that we are proud of who we are as Missouri Southern students.”

“I have gotten all positive feedback,” senator John Brandon Elam said. “It is a general consensus that people would like to have this icon on campus.”

“I’m really excited about it,” Laurna Alumbaugh, freshman senator, said. “It will be a legacy, not only for Student Senate because we funded it, but for the students on the campus now and for the students in future generations.”