Student Senate allocates funds to student organizations

President Van Galen speaks at the first Student Senate Body Meeting on Sept. 30.

On Wednesday, Sep. 30, after having spent no money from their budget this semester, Missouri Southern Student Senate members voted yes to grants requesting funds to the Biology club and a cleanup service project for the Biology pond.  

Treasurer, Brent Olson, presented two separate funding requests to be voted on by the council. The first was from the Biology club who requested $1,000 for recognition from the wildlife society which would cover costs for attending conferences, creating educational signs to hang by the biology pond, and outdoor cleaning materials.  

The Student Senate doesn’t encourage appropriating funds toward disposable materials such as trash bags and other temporary sanitary products. The finance committee proposed providing a lower amount than requested. A vote concluded the Student Senate would provide $734 to the Biology club for accreditation and metal signs.  

The second funding request was made on behalf of an anonymous Southern student who was interested in creating a cleanup service project for the Biology pond and needed financial assistance in gathering the supplies needed to complete the project. 

Olson explained the trail around the pond was overgrown and invasive species were beginning to congregate around the pond. After a discussion between committee members, a vote was passed to provide the project with $929.33.  

President of Southern, Dr. Dean Van Galen, also spoke at the council meeting. Southern is working on including an emergency grant program for undergrad research and diversity amongst faculty and staff said Van Galen.  

Southern is interested in creating an emergency grant program which would be in place by Jan. 2021. Van Galen said the grant would allocate funds to help students graduate who undergo emergencies or hardships. 

Van Galen also said it was important to develop strong undergraduate research programs which would allow grant writing for resources, celebrating student work, and presenting research across Missouri, nationally, and internationally.  

Increasing diversity among faculty and staff is another main goal in progressing Southern. There is cultural wealth and diversity in the student population of Southern, but the president and other board members are tasking themselves with hiring more diverse faculty and staff as well.

“University should be a place where we’re learning from people who are different from ourselves,” said Van Galen.   

Before motioning adjournment, the floor was opened to council members to talk about events coming up at Southern. Gawaka Burks of Kappa Sigma said the fraternity would be hosting a military hero campaign asking for donations of food and clothing for homeless veterans. Chloe Maye of Zeta Tau Alpha also announced there would be a Fall fundraiser for breast cancer awareness where the sorority would be selling masks and t-shirts virtually.  

There are three vacancies open in the Southern Student Senate. If you are interested in joining, you are encouraged to contact Vice President of Student Affairs, Darren Fullerton, at 417-625-9392. 

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