Editorial: Senate success depends on leadership

All Missouri Students Association speaker-elect Jon Hensley wants to do is "get to work," and if the previous year was any indication, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. The current Senate has been ineffective in just about every way imaginable, but it isn't completely the senators' fault. The fact is, Senate leadership is weak. Outgoing Speaker Ben Shepler did not want to push an agenda through the Senate, instead, he wanted to put more responsibility on senators.

The problem here is that Senate is composed of many inexperienced members who won't know what to do if they don't have any effective leadership. Yes, Senate passed some legislation, but only after it was proposed by members of the executive branch. Senate's efforts to get sexual orientation added to the College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Engineering's non-discrimination policies was only a by-product of the work of former Vice President Christine Morris.

The fact is, Senate needs someone cracking the whip. But like Shepler, Hensley seems to think that the Speaker should not have an agenda. That makes about as much sense as the majority leader of the U.S. Senate not setting specific goals for his or her party.

Hensley could start by urging Senate to make sure MSA's next budget is a sensible one. The Senate is useless if it doesn't have funds to spend on student projects. But year after year, there is little or no money left for them to use" however, they continue to ignorantly pass budgets.

Among Hensley's goals are to acquire more parking space for students, increase Senate participation and raise the print quota. Although parking is a ridiculous issue to tackle, the print quota is an attainable goal for Senate" but it won't have a snowball's change of passing if Hensley doesn't give senators a reason to pass his legislation. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in Senate this year, but nothing will be accomplished if Hensley does not lead.

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