Each of MSA’s six Senate Committees is charged with a specific area of student life or MSA. All Senators are voting members of a committee, and meetings are open to the public. Committees are presented bills which must be voted through before being brought to full Senate.
Academic Affairs’ mission is to act as an intermediary between the students and Mizzou Faculty and Staff, with the goal of bettering the academic atmosphere on campus. The committee undertakes projects that will result in a better learning environment for MU students. Academics is integral to every student’s life at MU and Academic Affairs works diligently to ensure that each student has the opportunity to excel academically.
Academic Affairs has a long and storied history. In the past Academic Affairs has fostered good relations between MSA Senate and the Missouri Students Veterans Association, has undertaken the ongoing project of establishing a publicly accessible syllabus archive, and has hosted the International Teaching Assistant Program. Under the previous chairman, Benjamin Levin, Academic Affairs enjoyed strong cooperative relations between Mizzou Faculty and the MSA Senate. The committee continues to pursue projects that will benefit the students including the establishment of a Fall Break, the founding of an Academic Forum that will bring various campus student governments together with MSA and Mizzou Faulty, and projects that reach out to students to keep them informed of issues on campus.
Academic Affairs’ eyes are fixed on the horizon and as we move forward, we hope to grow closer to the student body that we represent and enjoy favorable, cooperative relations between other student governments and faculty. We constantly strive to gather the input of students in order to facilitate meaningful changes that will benefit student academics for years to come.
The Budget Committee reviews the MSA budget as prepared by the vice president in preparation for its presentation to the Senate body. The secondary responsibility of the committee is the assessment of contingency and reserve requests submitted by the association. The legislative sphere of influence is restricted to items explicitly concerning the MSA budget or the committee itself.
Budget has undergone substantial changes in both purpose and function in recent years. Previously, the committee performed two primary functions: serve on Student Fee Review Committee (SFRC) as undergraduate representatives and act as a “check and balance” on the MSA budget. However, in order to best represent the intellectual diversity of the student population, the Senate voted to open the SFRC undergraduate seats to the student body at-large. Due to a drastic reduction in workload, Budget began an extensive training regimen to review the budget of past fiscal years in preparation for the spring semester.
During the Billingsley-Kooi administration, the committee saw increased communication and collaboration between the executive cabinet and the Budget committee. This relationship has been mutually beneficial for both parties. The executive cabinet receives helpful feedback while garnering support of the Budget committee in preparation for its formal presentation to Senate. The committee has observed exponential increases in its membership and hopes to continue this trend.
During the fall semester, the Budget Committee extensively reviewed the budget of the last fiscal year. This retrospective review educates the committee members so that we may make informed decisions. The committee will make the preliminary assessment of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year during this legislative session. We will collaborate with the new vice president in order to make any necessary changes before the budget progresses to the Senate floor.
As previously mentioned, it is within the committee’s purview to assess contingency and reserve requests put forth by the association. We use our knowledge of the MSA auxiliaries and their respective financial history to allocate money as needed. The committee strives to maintain a standard of fiscal responsibility with meaningful and measured spending for the benefit of the student body.
Budget Committee intends to visit each respective auxiliary in the fall semester in order to familiarize ourselves with the services these auxiliaries provide. These visits will provide the members with more context as they prepare to make financial decisions regarding the auxiliaries. The committee is seeking to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the association’s working parts.
Campus and Community Relations Committee is a group within MSA that represents both the residents of the Mizzou campus as well as those who reside in the city of Columbia. CCRC serves as the primary liaison between the MSA Senate and the Columbia community. This committee works with city leaders and officials, as well as establishes relationships with private and non-profit organizations to involve students in parts of off-campus life. CCRC is a committee that does its best to follow the needs and wants of everyone in the Columbia area and work to improve campus and community life as a whole.
For years now, CCRC has worked continuously to ensure that the students and Columbia community as a whole could improve. Countless ideas and opinions have made their way through MSA getting the support needed to confront issues that effect the campus and community. Off-campus living expenses became an issue confronted by CCRC under former chairwoman Grace Haun as they worked with facilities such as Aspen Heights to try and lower expenses and make off-campus living for the students excisable to campus. CCRC has and will always work hard to meet the needs of the students and Columbia community.
Under former chairman Mason Schara, Campus and Community Relations took a dramatic turn for the better. It was a main goal of the committee this past year to really hear the voice of the students. This stemmed the idea of suggestion boxes that would be placed in the Student Center. All of the suggestions received would be taken into consideration and addressed in any way possible. Another main focus was addressing main legal situations, the committee wanted to voice concern about clergy releases and even present ideas and suggestions to the appropriate authorities. The brainstorming this past year in CCRC was something never before seen in the committee and allowed the ideas bring together the campus and community.
One of the goals for CCRC’s future is to have a committee project along with the committee’s group projects that we would be able to complete within a semester.
Multicultural Issues guides policies involving issues of interest to or affecting minority students. The committee monitors the universality and egalitarianism of Senate’s legislation, and attempts to act as the catalyst for change regarding student relations both in Senate itself and on campus.
MCI has always tried to be a voice of minority students on Senate. By creating liaisons between our committee and minority organizations on campus we have always strived to create a good line of communication between the leaders of these organizations. Because of our communications we can have only continued to become a stronger Mizzou. This has included keeping each other up to date on what is going on within each organization and by making an effort to represent them in our legislation.
Our annual Hate Wall creates a comfortable and safe environment for students to voice their thoughts about minority issues and stereotypes on campus. Hate Wall has been an event that has continued to grow and flourish. MCI has been apart of creating the SWIPES program on campus. This program allows students the opportunity to go into Emporium or Time Out and buy items with their meal plans and give them to us to donate to a local food pantry.
While MCI has created annual events, we have also been able to have an event with a quick turn around to address a problem that may arise on campus. This was shown last year when we saw a discourse on campus about homecoming. We were able to invite members and of both homecomings to have a progressive discussion about the tradition of homecoming and their meanings to students on campus.
In the future we hope to grow the SWIPES event and Hate Wall event. We also want to create monthly dialogue discussions that we co-sponsor in order become more visible on campus. We will continue to seek out ways to better connect minority groups with MSA. MCI hopes to consistently seek ways to better our liaison program and hopes to continue to work on the best ways to represent our constituents.
MSA Senate Operations oversees all three branches of the association – it is the internal review committee. The committee interacts with the Student Court, Department of Student Communications, Department of Student Services, MSA’s auxiliaries and more to successfully fulfill its duties. Operations also holds the association accountable to the bylaws and constitution that bind MSA. The committee makes regular reforms to the bylaws as the Missouri Students Association adapts and changes each year.
In the past, the committee has concentrated heavily on bylaw and internal review. Many previous chairs have concentrated heavily on large scale bylaw reform, granting and removing powers of the associations branches frequently. Many of the responsibilities Operations currently fulfills was a result of these past leaders. These changes have caused a lot of discrepancy within the bylaws that has since been resolved.
One of the biggest efforts is the new Bylaws that MSA currently works off of. The author Jacob Sloan worked in close contact with Logan Borgsmiller to create a refined and easy to read set of governing rules that is more efficient to operate under. These bylaws corrected much of the abashment from previous chairs, and have simplified administrative duties and responsibilities for all of the organization.
The current committee chair, Ben Bolin, has finished up much of the necessary work from previous chairs. Each member currently has a project outside the traditional “Operations” duties. The committee has taken up chapter six of the bylaws that pertains to liaisons in a hope to have it match the rest of the new bylaws. The committee has also successfully formalized the confirmation process of executive branch officials, growing the respect between the branches of senate and exec.
The committee looks forward to switching its focus to internal review and away from large bylaw revision. In the future, the committee will be examining many issues that persist in the organization as it pertains to leadership, outreach, and definitions. Operations will also be formalizing many of the responsibilities it currently maintains, setting up a structure to the reviews that the bylaws demand.
The mission of the Student Affairs committee is broad: to work to better the daily lives of students. Student Affairs strives to reach out to the concerns of students, research possible solutions to solve problems, and work with administrators and professional staff to work toward resolutions. In our eyes, no issue falls outside of the scope of our committee. Student Affairs is always listening and always working.
Student Affairs has a long history of benefiting students. In the past few years the committee has successfully advocated for installation of additional bike racks on campus, has created a to-go hot meal option in select dining halls, and initiated the first bike sharing program on campus. Each week, though, the committee continually looks into suggestions from the student body that lead to changes — changes that are not always large or visible. The committee has and continues to work on projects large and small.
Going forward, we hope to work harder to reach out to the student voice. Through leveraging the strong relationship we have with MSA’s Department of Student Communications, we will constantly be looking for new ways to figure out what issues on campus concern the student body. In addition, our goal in the coming year is to go about our daily lives on campus looking for imperfections. The Mizzou community is a great place, but Student Affairs will continue to work toward improvement.