University of Missouri

49-26: An Act to Address Senate Member Constitutionality

Missouri Students Association

University of Missouri

Bill 49-26

An Act to Address Senate Member Constitutionality

WHEREAS, Article V, Paragraph B (2) of the Missouri Students Association Constitution outlines legislative representation as follows:

“For the purpose of selection of Senators, the Senate body shall be 71 representatives.

(a) 50 will be divided by percent of total enrollment of each Undergraduate           Degree Program.  The total undergraduate enrollment as defined by the University     of Missouri – Columbia will be determined on the 21st day of the winter semester.

(b) 20 will be defined as elected at-large and elected at the first full Senate            meeting of the term.  Of the 20 at-large seats, a minimum of 5 seats will be             designated to students of freshman standing as defined by the University of       Missouri-Columbia.

(c) Upon election, the Speaker of the Senate will receive 1 seat in accordance with             the bylaws of the association.” and

WHEREAS, MSA Bylaws  Section 2.10 (C) outlines At-Large Senator representation as follows:

“SENATORS AT-LARGE – 20 seats will be open to an At-Large election, unless any seats are not filled by Senators representing their academic colleges, in which case the total at-large seats will be up to 30.”

WHEREAS, while this setup and election process has been rather practical in nature in the past, it is also a clear breach of the Constitution and therefore must be remedied immediately to maintain the voting legitimacy of the body, and

WHEREAS, while the author realizes a need for a long-term solution for the at-large process as will be presented by the Operations Committee at some point this session, the body must act to maintain constitutionality in the short-term as well to maintain voting legitimacy before the long-term solution is reached, and

WHEREAS, any changes made within the current legislation may be superceded by the comprehensive plan to be presented by the Operations Committee and will in no way hinder their work on this subject for the future.

THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that the bylaws are amended as follows:

2.10 MEMBERSHIP OF THE MSA SENATE

(A)        The Senate will be composed of 71 undergraduate students.

(B)        ACADEMIC COLLEGE SENATORS – As stated in the MSA Constitution, 50 seats will be reserved proportionally by the percent of total enrollment of each Undergraduate Degree Program.  The total undergraduate enrollment as defined by the University of Missouri – Columbia will be determined on the 21st day of the winter semester by the Board of Elections Commissioners. 

(1)     The Undergraduate Degree Programs, as defined by the University of Missouri are as follows: College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AF&NR), College of Arts and Science (A&S), College of Business (BUS), College of Education (EDUC), College of Engineering (ENGR) , School of Health Professions (HP), College of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), School of Journalism (JOURN), School of Natural Resources (NAT R), School of Nursing (NURS), and School of Social Work (SO WK).

(2)     If any seats are not filled at time of election, up to 10 may be filled in the subsequent semester. If more than ten seats are left unfilled, representation will be based proportionally on the aforementioned enrollment standards used for the original election. The rest will remain empty until the next session elections. Elections for these seats will use the same procedure as outlined for at-large senators in 2.10 (C), with the Senate Speaker and/or Clerk  additionally responsible for verifying college enrollment if/when a student is running for a specific academic seat.

(C)        SENATORS AT-LARGE – 20 seats will be open to an At-Large election. unless any seats are not filled by Senators representing their academic colleges, in which case the total at-large seats will be up to 30.

(1)     PROCEDURE – Each candidate for Senator-At-Large shall place his or her name in nomination at the first regular MSA Senate meeting of the session. At the discretion of the Legislative cabinet, the election will take place after each candidate has been given the opportunity to speak before the Senate for up to 1 minute.

(2)     ELECTION – A Senator shall be elected by a plurality of the vote of the Senators present.  Elections for Senators At-Large shall continue at each Senate meeting until all seats are filled.

(3)     PROCEDURE FOR A TIE—In the event of a tie between two or more Senate candidates, each candidate will be given the option of speaking for one additional minute before the Senate. The Senate will then vote again for those persons in the tie. If there is another tie vote, the tie will fall to the Speaker.

(D)        The remaining seat will be reserved for the Speaker in accordance with the MSA Constitution.

Respectfully Submitted,

Amanda Shelton, MSA Senate Speaker

Doug Cowing, Operations Committee