MSA could suspend bylaws to avoid two speaker votes

As the Missouri Students Association gears up for new leaders, members say it might suspend its bylaws to avoid holding two elections for speaker - within as many months.

The term of MSA Speaker Rob Willard does not end until March 11, but he will be inaugurated as MSA president in January. Although Willard hasn't officially stepped down from the speaker position, senate members continue to discuss how his resignation will be handled.

"According to the bylaws of MSA Senate, it is the duty of the Rules Committee chair to ascend to the speaker in this situation," Willard said.

Current Rules Committee Chairman Alan Robison will assume the interim speaker position when Willard steps down.

Under current bylaws, Robison would serve in the interim position while nominations are taken to fill the position until March, when Willard's term as speaker officially ends.

Then, the entire election process will begin anew, as MSA senators go through the nomination and election process to fill the position from March 1998 until March 1999.

But, Robison said, there is another alternative that hasn't been offically proposed.

"There's a way it can be done so that senators could suspend the rules so there wouldn't be two elections," Robison said. "I think it's an idea some senators have tossed around."

Robison also said the MSA Rules Committee hasn't officially looked at the issue, still in discussion stages among MSA members.

"I think there is sentiment to allow me to bend the rules," Robison said. "It doesn't make sense to have two elections."

Still, Robison reasoned there are more important concerns.

"I think we all want to spend our time looking at issues of more significant nature," Robison said.

Robison will be responsible for appointing a new Rules Committee chairperson.

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