The University of Missouri Student Government
By Yang A-reum, Overseas Correspondent
The Missouri Students Association (MSA) is the undergraduate student government of the University of Missouri. It is broken down into three branches―just like the U.S. government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. While each branch has a different job and function, they all serve for the students’ well-being and welfare. With its own budget of over one million U.S. dollars annually, the MSA provides more than 22,000 students with numerous services and activities.
The Executive Cabinet consists of three departments: the Department of Student Activities, the Department of Student Communications, and the Department of Student Services. Also under the executive branch, 9 auxiliaries provide various services and help for the students. The Senate is the legislative branch of Missouri Students Association. Headed by a Senate Speaker, it consists of 71 elected student Senators. By making rules and regulations, the Senate not only holds the executive and judicial branches in check but it also guides the overall operation of MSA to the students’ benefits. Also it represents the interests of MU students through various means within and around the university community. The Judicial branch is made up of nine justices appointed by the president and approved by the senate. Their objective is to uphold the laws set forth by the president and senate. They listen to cases involving possible breaches of the MSA constitution. They also listen to oral arguments and evidence from both parties and attempt to reach a fair decision.
STRIPES (Supportive Tigers Riding In Pursuit of Ensuring Safety), one of the auxiliaries of the executive branch, provide free rides for MU students and guests on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They pick up students anywhere in Columbia and take them to their homes, no questions asked. This auxiliary and the other ones like it help create a better on-campus community thanks to the MSA.
Ashley, a Mizzou student, says “I like the services and volunteer works that MSA provides for Mizzou and the Columbia area. But I think not so many students are well informed about MSA and what kind of opportunities it provides for Mizzou students. If students become more active and interested in what it does, they can better improve their own experience while in school.”