Student Forum Report 10-19-2016

At the end of the fiscal year, the Minnesota State Student Association will decide how they will use the student activities fees that they collect from the students. Student Allocation Committee Chair Cristian Perez clarified any misunderstandings that the student body may have in the future in regard to how that works.

For instance, Perez stated that they review each request as a committee so that the funds a student requests will be used to the best of their ability. If something needs to be improved first, the committee will put a hold on the request until the student follows the suggestions.

“We highly encourage co-sponsorship and partnership between different clubs,” Perez said. “For example, the financing club and marketing club are both having a speaker on campus. We encourage them to plan a get together that covers both their aspects and interests.”

Perez added that the SAC reimburses students for programming funds after they return from events that they traveled together and they turn in their receipts.

Perez said that for travel expenses, SAC allows students $1,000 per year with $50 per student attending the event, and the SAC would reimburse money for fuel, university vehicle registration, etc. This year Perez said the SAC had received a request for $100 over what is normally allowed but they had to stay within the budget of $1,000 total. The money excludes spending money for food.

On a related matter, Perez clarified the difference between independent student organizations and indirectly funded organizations. “Indirectly funded organizations are not ineligible, per say,” Perez said. “They are directly funded through their department; for example, the Blacks Reunion or the African American Student Association.”

Meanwhile, Perez added that when a sport’s club is invited to an event, the club may qualify for additional funds, but the club must first be invited to a tournament and be qualified. He added that is the reason why the indirectly funded organizations can receive up to between $4,000 to $6,000 a year.

In closing, Perez made note of the budget season since it is the end of the fiscal year. SAC will interview all departments and from there, present every Friday. After six weeks, SAC and the departments will convene on a Saturday and engage in a deliberation. Then they will assemble a budget that they will recommend to the MSSA who will then decide if they should accept or deny it.

After the MSSA opened the meeting up for discussion, Director of Campus Recreation Todd Pfingsten added that sport clubs must qualify for national tournament in addition to getting invited to an event. The qualification excludes the regular subsidy recreation, so then the club will go to SAC for more funds.

Director of the Student Union Mark Constantine commended Perez for focusing on the three major areas—multicultural, community center, and the sport’s club— and for students and professors working together to consider how the money can be used best.

“It won’t always go to all student organizations,” Constantine stated, noting that the reason sometimes is because some administrative money is invested into graduate students since they work with students with programs and putting them together.

In other matters of interest:

-Legislative Specialist for Students United Alex Johnson asked for students’ help in passing around pamphlets to increase students’ understanding on where and how they may vote. They had a goal they hoped to reach of at least 2,200 students and encouraged the student body to talk to friends in class about voting.

They emphasized they had less than three weeks before the election. Also, if any students had any interest in becoming part of Students United, they were encouraged to talk to Alex Johnson.

-A student also presented to the MSSA about a new major called Integrated Marketing and Communication Studies, which would consist of both Arts & Humanities and Public Business departments. He and another classmate had been actively seeking to create it by visiting the deans from those departments.

The current thought is that the degree would encompass classes from Mass Media, Graphic Design, Marketing, and Mass Communications.

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