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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Indie Goverment Watchdog

Before this week, I knew little ornothing of our supposed “studentgovernment” so I decided to attenda meeting to see what they were allabout. It wasn’t all that interesting orstimulating. Hence, it isn’t surprisingthat most students at UMB don’t paythis “government” much mind. But letme recount my experience to the studentbody from an independent pointof view so that they may know somethingabout their student government.Although I thought the senate wasa single entity, it’s actually split intothree different groups. Every otherweek the three groups meet togetherin a general assembly. This, however,was not one of those weeks. Therewere four older returning students andabout five senate members present.This was the Student Events and OrganizationsCommittee. Currently theywere challenging the authenticity of acertain organization, Survivors’ Inc.The requirements the committeereview in every organization is; 1: thatthere are fifteen members; 2: whetherthe mission statement is safe; 3: thatthe organization has a constitutionand doesn’t exclude any students and;3: the organization is original, meaningit does not have the same purposeas an existing organization. Survivors’Inc. was being questioned on this lastrequirement. Our senate was unsure ifSurvivors’ Inc. was the same as anotherorganization called the ARMS Center.Taking the floor, Survivors’ Inc.seemed genuinely concerned. Speakingfor them, Meiko Rawlings pleadedthat the organization shouldn’t bechallenged yet again (apparently thishad happened nearly every previousyear). She explained infinite need forthe organization because of the depressedeconomy. Her argument wasthat Survivor’s Inc., originally foundedto help young mothers lacking the necessarymonetary means in the 80’s, hasevolved into something much more.Also backing her up was Debbie Ferrittiof the ARMS Center. Her explanationof what exactly separates thetwo organizations was subtle. Whilethe ARMS Center helps students oncampusand raises awareness of thevarious resources for modern survival,Survivors’ Inc. was the necessary outreachprogram in order to bring thoseresources to the ARMS Center. Hence,the two clubs have similar constitutions,but differ in their mission statement.Upon the conclusion of debateand discussion, the senate requestedI leave the room along with all of theorganizations’ representatives. Whilethe anonymous vote was being cast Iwaited anxiously in the waiting room.Finally, one senator exited the room toinform us Survivors’ Inc. was a legitimateclub and could continue to operateon campus and abroad. The verdictwas accepted with cries of glee. Therepresentatives returned to thank therest of the senate and promptly left.Other speakers included Diane Dujonof the ARMS Center and DottieStephens, original president of Survivors’Inc.Honestly, this proceeding just kepton dragging on to the point to where Iwould’ve fallen asleep if there wasn’t aconstant smattering of talking. It’s likewatching C-Span, but having it confinedto UMB. I was also surprised bythe fact that most of the audience wereregulars and not mainstream students.There may be nothing irregular orcontroversial, but I have to say thatthe USG is a closed chamber enterprisewith lots of money in its hands.I plan on attending more meetings andpresenting my findings to the public atlarge. Until next time, peace out!