Keep it open

Ah, Student Senate. What an easy punching bag.

We know sometimes poking fun at Senate is easier than taking Kimbo Slice to the mat, but we feel like something must be said about a term used in the informal meeting Wednesday.

Of course there were many things said in that informal meeting, many of which we have laughed about in the office, but one thing stood out above all.

Senator David Reed said he thought the recently formed ‘calendar committee’ was going to be a ‘closed committee.’

While we are still unsure as to what the committee’s real duties are going to be, we want to point out that the term ‘closed’ should not be taken lightly.

The committee member said the committee will be looking over resolutions before they have a second reading, as well as other miscellaneous tasks.

Why must this be done in secret?

Especially if the committee has the last word in whether or not a resolution makes it to its second reading. Shouldn’t the sponsoring senator get a chance to argue his point before his work gets tossed aside because a committee doesn’t think it’s important?

Isn’t that pretty much what Senate is all about, arguing whether or not something is worthy of a resolution or money allocation?

Why would a committee be created to overlook everything and only let what they want to pass make it to a meeting?

And why would that committee refuse to admit the media?

There are 21 exceptions outlined in the Missouri Sunshine Law for ‘closed meetings,’ and as far as we can tell none of them apply to this committee.

And with the recent culture of secrecy on campus being questioned more and more, we would hope that the Student Senate, of all bodies, would try to maintain an open door policy.

Just this week, the three finalists for the vice president of academic affairs were announced, and only three days before the first was set to arrive. The local media has a heyday with all of the behind closed door operations surrounding the no-confidence vote.

So we’ve grown to expect this from the administration and the Board of Governors, but why must the Student Senate follow in their footsteps?

Will Lynch himself said he would like to see the Senate act in a more transparent way.

Shouldn’t the wishes of your own president hold some weight in how committees are formed and how they act?