Recently, Student Senate has announced a new formula for allocating student organization allotments. This, while deemed beneficial to the student population, seems like nothing more than another way for students to exercise what little power they have over their fellow students.
In previous weeks, we all received an email regarding the information sessions that presidents and treasurers are required to attend. While this is not necessarily a bad idea, the timing couldn’t be more absurd. How can any student leader demand the presence of other students in the last two weeks before finals?
When asked what the penalty would be for not attending this meeting, a member of the Student Senate executive board replied “it means you will not be allowed to apply for funding.” Essentially, if a student values their coursework and their study time, as opposed to a last second meeting scheduled by the powers that be, their organization will suffer?
I’m here to say that this is not acceptable.
Earlier in this semester, the MU Photography Club was established on campus. Upon putting in all of the appropriate material in order to achieve club status, during the second week of September, it took Student Senate well over a month to even review the paper work and invite the organizations leaders before the constitution committee.
Upon receiving the invite to the meeting, the Photography Club president waited for almost an hour, only to find that the meeting was adjourned without a chance for them to present. This was mid-October, and it took until the end of November in order for the Photography Club to gain club status.
When asked by the Photography Club president why the meeting was adjourned without prior notice, President Chrismer shifted the blame to the Vice President of Organization, claiming that he was “in his own little world.”
The fact that the club’s president was never contacted (other than by a string of third party text messages), and that the president of Student Senate took no responsibility for the event or the communications, shows exactly why many students feel that the current structure of Student Senate is problematic. You cannot simply expect students to give up on their work, attend a meeting, and then get no courtesy when they do so.
By writing this, I am calling on all students to speak out. If you are unsatisfied with the way Student Senate is run, the lack of transparency, and the blatant disregard for their fellow students, it is time to make a change. We need better leadership and representation than we currently have, and it needs to start with us.