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A No Vote to Voting Student Curators

Mary McGuire, KMOX Capitol Bureau
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – In a party line vote, legislation that would have allowed students to serve on the UM Board of Curators with full voting rights was shot down.

In a 7-4 vote on separate bills, the House Higher Education Committee blocked an effort to give students full voting rights on the board .

The bills had slightly different stipulations regarding the qualifications of a proposed student curator.

Rep. Jill Schupp, D-St. Louis, sponsored a bill stating that one of the nine curators may be a student appointed from a state district.

“Students are the stakeholders. They are the people there who are most closely affected by policies and decisions made by the board. For them to have input, I think, is truly critical. It’s one vote out of nine,” Schupp said.

She says nothing precludes a student from serving on the board currently and the bill simply puts that fact into writing.

“Why don’t we make sure that the Governor gets the message that a student can be appointed?” said Schupp.

A representative from the Associated Students of the University of Missouri spoke in favor of Schupp’s legislation.

“It’s very important for the board to have members with a birds-eye view of the institution and how it should be run. None of the current members have that expertise,” said Abigail Thomas.

The Chair of the Committee Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, opposes the legislation.

“I’m not trying to put down any students or their belief that they could do this. I believe there is a maturity factor that they don’t understand,” Thomson said.

Each congressional district in Missouri has a board member. After re-districting, Missouri will lose one district and therefore one curator.

Similar legislation was sponsored by Rep. Zachary Wyatt, R-Kirksville, whose bill said that the student curator must be of graduate or have professional standing.

Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, sponsored a bill that did not specify that a student curator must be of graduate or professional standing.

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