Student Senate elected two senators and recognized three student organizations during its meeting Tuesday.
Student Senate elected Jacob Barnes and TJ Johnson to fill the two senior class representative positions that will be vacant next semester after Senior Class President Megan Carter and Senior Class Representative Estella Wesseh graduate.
Four people were nominated on the Student Senate floor last week, but two dropped out. Both candidates will be senators next semester, and whoever received more votes will be the senior class president. The executive cabinet did not announce the numbers at the meeting.
Barnes is a Mass Media: Broadcast Production major and has held various positions on Student Senate since his freshman year. He was previously a voting member, but this semester he was not.
“I think it (being a voting member) gives you, not necessarily more power as some may see it, but you put a little more into this,” Barnes said. “Everyone can discuss, but to actually have a say in what happens, what money goes where, what organizations can be on campus, it really means something, and it’s beneficial to grow as a leader.”
Johnson is an Elementary Education and Multicultural Studies major. He has not been on Student Senate before and joined the Student Activities Council this semester, but he said he tried to attend or watch every Student Senate meeting this semester.
“I’ve always been interested in Student Senate,” Johnson. “It means a lot to be able to represent students and be able to fight on behalf of students as well.”
Student Senate recognized Shirtless Bearcats as a student organization. Shirtless Bearcats is a group of students who paint their torsos with words and phrases at football games.
The organization was previously a recognized student organization, but failed to re-register and had to come before Student Senate to be recognized again.
Shirtless Bearcats Vice President Nolan Brooks said the group sought to become a recognized student organization again with the goal of expanding the organization to attend more sporting events and include more members.
“Something that I’ve noticed about the club over the last three years is it’s really the same little group of people at every single game,” Brooks said. “I want to really open it up to anyone to come.”
Student Senate recognized Northwest Trap Shooters as an official student organization. Trap shooting is shotgun exhibition shooting with clay pigeons and shells filled with BB pellets. The group hopes to participate in regional competitions and also create a community to learn more about shooting and gun safety.
Northwest Trap Shooters President Wyatt Ellis said the group would be a recruiting tool for the University since many high schools in the midwest have trap shooting teams and the students want to continue shooting in college.
One of the major concerns brought up by multiple senators was safety, especially with including members with no shooting experience.
“All of our members will have to go through ATA (American Trapshooters Association) guidelines to make sure they’re going to be safe with guns, make sure we know they can handle guns properly,” Ellis said. “That way there aren’t any accidents or people who shouldn’t have guns and don’t know what they’re doing get their hands on guns.”
The members’ guns will be stored in the University Police Department and they’ll be transported by the members in cases to Mozingo, where the group will practice. Ellis said they hope to use dues to purchase a locking trailer to transport guns to competitions.
Student Senate also recognized Seven Thunders as an official student organization. Seven Thunders President Deion Scott said the goal of the group is to discuss how the Bible doesn’t compete with science and history but aligns with it. Another discussion point is the concept of God having both a paternal and maternal form.
Seven Thunders is an organization with chapters worldwide, including at Missouri Western State University. In addition to Bible studies, the group also plans to collaborate with other Christian organizations on campus on volunteering and philanthropy events.
Student Senate President Alyssa Lincoln took from the President’s budget to put $5 on every Student Senate member’s Bearcat card.
“This money was given for the continued dedication our Executive Cabinet has observed from all of our Senators,” Lincoln said. “The student fee that enfranchises our organization is meant to provide us with an operable budget that allows for growth, student organizational support and representation. Although the gift to Senators may seem frivolous, any student leader knows that members often need a tangible reminder that their hard work is appreciated and this little gift was just that.”