House votes 99-53 against adding voting student member to Board of Curators
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House votes 99-53 against adding voting student member to Board of Curators

Date: March 7, 2011
By: Jamie Hausman
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 174

JEFFERSON CITY -Two of the nine members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators will come from the same congressional district beginning next fall.

Missouri is set to lose one congressional seat, as dictated by the results of the 2010 census. The Board of Curators will also lose that district's respective seat. The board must account for the loss in order to maintain an odd number of voting members to break ties.

Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia, presented a bill that would give a UM System student the power to vote on the Board of Curators. Her bill was defeated by bill sponsor, Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, whose solution would allow a second member from one of the districts to step in as the ninth voting member.

Thomson rejected Still's bill.  He said a student has "no place in running the school."

Still tried to rally support for her bill and student competency by using legislator and MU law school student Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, as an example.

"This is a perfect time for this to happen," Still said. She added, "Stephen Webber is a student and a member of this body."

Laura Confer,  an MU student, is the current non-voting student member of the board. When Thomson's bill was filed, she disagreed.

"Students are the constituency of the university and would represent the interests of the whole student body instead of a member representing their own district," she said.

The Missouri House voted 99-53 against adding a student as a voting member to the board.

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