Student Senate votes ‘no’ to politics

Amye Buckley

Debate in Student Senate’s Oct. 8 meeting centered on an appropriations request shot down by a vote that split the group.

The College Democrats requested $150 to cover the venue rental from last week’s Rock the Vote.

Senate’s finance committee recommended turning down the request because the event was open to the public and not directed towards Missouri Southern students.

Organizers called it a strictly non-partisan event to get out the youth vote.

“We never even said it was put on by the College Democrats,” said Lauren Oxendine, senior international studies major. “I said it was sponsored by Missouri Southern.”

Student Senate was divided over the request.

“This is setting a precedent for open parties as long as it has a positive effect,” said Matt Day, Senate parliamentarian.

The College Democrats registered seven voters at the event which Day acknowledged as a positive result. Senators stated their concerns that any event hosted by a registered student organization – on campus or off – would suddenly be open for an appropriations request.

“Our student money has to stay with the students,” said Alesha Gilleland, treasurer.

Oxendine said her group should be reimbursed since the event was put on by a campus organization, but some Senators disagreed.

Students discussed the precedent of funding an event attended largely by high schoolers in an off-campus venue.

“It’s not the amount that’s the discussion here,” Lynch said.

“We’re not making you eat five grand here,” Day said. “We can’t vote to set a precedent that can come back and bite us.”

Others argued that the concert was a public relations outreach promoting the school.

“When I was in high school I saw more advertising and more effort put into other universities than I saw Missouri Southern put into it,” said Jacob Forste, sophomore international business major.

Forste, who is not a member of the College Democrats, said students should not be penalized for hosting an event off campus.

“Most of the activities and planning took place on campus,” Forste said.

Gilleland said the finance committee may have changed their recommendation had the event been held on campus and aimed more at students. As things stand she felt Senate made the right decision and stood by the student body.

“Student Senate is responsible for allocating funds to students, we are not responsible for PR,” Gilleland said.

Six seats remain open in Student Senate. During it’s next meeting Senate will begin accepting candidates from any class.