Student Senate appropriated $1,650 and recognized a new student organization during its meeting Oct. 30.
Spiritually Involved Sisters Together Achieving Harmony requested $800 from Student Senate to supplement its budget for the Night of Glory event Nov. 3, a tribute show to the men of Northwest. The evening of dinner, entertainment, gifts and raffles is S.I.S.T.A.H.’s biggest event each year.
Although the group raised the remaining amount to host the event through dues, fundraising and a sponsor, Student Senate amended the original amount to $1,000.
Inclusion Representative senior Sasha Quarles emphasized the importance of the event, not only because of its success in previous years, but also its service to minority populations on campus.
“They also represent our underrepresented students, and they are a multicultural organization that some students here on campus don’t have a lot of successful events when they try to put them on,” Quarles said. “I know that they are under a lot of stress because every year they have more people sign up, they have more people willing to be in their unique talent show, so this is a successful event that people expect them to put on.”
Civic Service Chair senior Arpana Pokhrel motioned to amend the $800 to $1,000, and her motion was seconded by Junior Class Representative Kenyatta Johnson. Pokhrel said she wanted to amend the amount because the idea had been mentioned by other senators, and she felt the event was a wise use of money.
“I thought it would help them do a better job,” Pokhrel said. “It’s a really successful event, and us giving $200 more, I don’t think that’s going to hurt us as an organization, and I think it’s going to help them to do better.”
In the closest vote so far this semester, the amendment passed with 20 in favor and 10 against. The appropriation of $1,000 then passed 29 to 1.
S.I.S.T.A.H. President Jusani Jackson said she was shocked by the amendment, but excited for how much more they can do.
Jackson said the extra $200 will boost the decorations budget, which was tight before and improve the gifts that will be on the tables.
Student Senate also voted unanimously to appropriate $650 to Bearcat Winter Guard to pay the registration fee for the upcoming Mid-Continent Color Guard Association Championships. Student Senate appropriated the same amount last school year and the group took second at the competition, missing first by 0.7 points.
Senator Samantha Mageto raised concerns about why the group couldn’t cover the fee with fundraising, but Freshman Class President Kevin Ngyuen countered by pointing out the more than $2,000 the group pays out of pocket for costumes, equipment and travel expenses each year, which he said its fundraising should go toward instead.
Student Senate recognized Young Americans for Liberty as an official student organization. YAL is a non-partisan student political group with 767 chapters nationwide.
The group has been meeting for less than a month, but it has four executive members and more than 30 students interested, with an average of 10 students attending each of the first meetings.
In addition to potentially participating in events in the future like debates and discussions with the other political groups on campus, the group hopes to hold its own events like the Free Speech Ball, which would be funded by the national group.
Sergeant at Arms junior Taylor Moore, the president of YAL, said the group represents a voice that often goes unheard on college campuses.
“We have people from both sides of the spectrum,” Moore said. “What we do is promote more conversation within our organization alone, rather than going out and debating, which we would like to do eventually, but we want to spark conversation civilly.”
University Police Chief Clarence Green visited the meeting to answer questions about the Safe Ride Home program and parking on campus.
Freshman Lillian Jacks posted in the “Northwest Missouri State University Class of 2022” Facebook group Oct. 18 that she had several issues with the Safe Ride Home program, including no one picking up, or not being able to get a ride home during retail hours.
Ngyuen brought these concerns to Student Senate during the Oct. 23 meeting, after which Green was invited to speak. Green clarified that the issues Jacks had with the service were due to calling outside of operating hours.
Safe Ride Home shuttle hours, when five vehicles run routes from campus to retail locations similar to a bus system, are between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2-6 p.m. Sunday. Students cannot be picked up from non-retail locations and taken home during these times.
Taxi hours, when students can be taken to and from bars and parties, are 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
Green said UPD is working to decrease its response times, so students aren’t waiting more than 10 minutes for a ride.
Quarles, a BRIDGE in South Complex, asked Green about the South Complex parking lot, which is one of the parking lots on campus that must be vacated by students during home football games. Quarles said it’s unfair that South Complex residents pay the same rate for parking passes on campus, but are uniquely inconvenienced by having to move their cars some weekends.
Green said eight or fewer cars are towed because of this issue on any given weekend, but UPD has heard the concerns and plans to improve the campus parking system, including improving communication with students about when home football games are and potential rezoning of parking lots on campus to allow more student parking in the central part of campus.