Student Forum Report: Wednesday, March 29

Last Wednesday’s student senate meeting was the last regular meeting of the 2016-2017 term. Next week’s meeting will be the annual budget meeting in which student senate allocates its funds for the 2017-2018 academic year. Elections will take place on Tuesday, April 11. Students will be able to vote at www.mnsu.edu/voting. A debate between the candidates will take place Wednesday, April 5, at noon in the Heritage Lounge of the CSU. Check upcoming issues of the Reporter for election coverage.

Last week’s meeting featured four presentations and three motions.

Lexi Byler of MNSU Moorhead made her case to the senators that they should elect her the new Vice Chair of Students United, the overarching student representative body for the Minnesota State system. Byler is originally from Wisconsin and is majoring in advertising/public relations. She is president of the Black Student Union on her campus and works as Student Success Advisor in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. As Vice Chair, she says that her three main focuses would be diversity, affordability, and student wellness. MNSU student senate speaker Fred de Ruiter is also running for the position. President Faical Rayani is running for the position of State Chair.

Salma Abdelhamid and Student Allocations Committee (SAC) Chair Cristian Perez presented SAC’s recommendations for the 2017-2018 budget. While student senate has the final say in the budget, they rely on SAC’s extensive research leading up to the budget meeting to make their decision. SAC’s recommendations are as follows. For each category, the first number listed represents the 2016-2017 budget, the second number represents the 2017-2018 budget request, and the third number represents SAC’s budget recommendation to senate. Campus Recreation Sports: $504,309; $523,908; $512,137. Intramural Recreation – Sports Clubs: $25,000; $25,000; $25,000. Campus Rec (Adventure Ed Program/Climbing Walls): $143,728; $143,728; $143,728. Campus Rec Equipment R&R Fund: $20,000; $20,000; $20,000. Campus Rec Maverick Adventures: $15,849; $17,349; $0. Forensics: $19,612; $19,612; $19,612. Gender and Sexuality Programs: $55,000; $55,000; $55,000. Green Transportation Fee: $313,515; $352,538; $313,515. International Center Activities: $53,400; $53,400; $53,400. Multicultural Student Activities: $43,500; $50,500; $45,500. Music Ensembles: $76,950; $81,000; $76,950. Non-Budgeted Request Fund (RSO Travel/Program): $40,000; $40,000; $40,000. Repertory Dance: $5,000; $5,000; $5,000. Reporter: $60,040; $67,900; $58,040. Reporter Equipment R&R Fund: $0; $0; $0. Student Activities Fee Administration: $256,269; $256,063; $256,053. Student Senate: $109,869; $113,839; $109,823. Theater: $82,000; $85,616; $82,000. The Student Activities budget is divided into nine categories, which are as follows. Administration: $523,745; $533,330.33; $533,330.33. Community Engagement: $9,797; $9,797; $9,797. Greek Life: $15,000; $15,000; $15,000. Homecoming: $51,000; $51,000; $51,000. Leadership/Leadership U: $5,100; $5,100; $5,100. Mavericks After Dark (to be combined with Student Events Team): $10,000; $12,500; $0. Non-Traditional Student Center: $5,000; $5,000; $4,000. Registered Student Organizations: $6,200; $6,200; $6,200. Student Events Team: $100,670; $103,670; $112,170. Overall budget: $2,550,603; $2,652,040.33; $2,552,355.33.

For more information on the budget as a whole or specific budget proposals, contact John Bulcock at john.bulcock@mnsu.edu, Cristian Perez at cristian.perez@mnsu.edu, or one of your MSSA senators.

Senator Jacob Royce gave an update on the effort to eliminate the terms homecoming king and queen and replace them with the gender-neutral term “homecoming royals.” He noted that the Homecoming Committee voted 10-0 to continue moving forward with the plan and would like to hold a Q&A session in which students will be able to voice their concerns to a panel of supporters of the name change. Senator Royce has also noted that plans are being made to handle any dissent to the move. He also noted that the LGBT Center hopes to improve its outreach to students in the coming academic year.

Senator Griffin Goode, who serves as Chair of the Ethics and Standards Commission, went over the ethics and standards policies of the MSSA constitution.

The appointments and allocations passed in the consent agenda are as follows. Ayoola Okuribido was appointed as an MNSU Students United delegate and Mitchell Favor was appointed to the Public Relations Committee. $350 in funds were allocated from student senate’s non-budgeted request fund. The Muslim Student Association was given $150 to travel to the United MSA Council meeting in Saint Paul. $200 was given to Phi Delta Theta to travel to the Phi Delta Theta Central Region Recruitment Workshop at Iowa State University. Additional amendments were added to the consent agenda but have not been included in this update.

Three motions were passed at the meeting. The first was a motion proposed by Senator Alex Lucier which had been postponed at three consecutive student senate meetings prior to Wednesday’s meeting. The motion called for the creation of a Graduate Welfare and Education Ad Hoc Committee to improve conditions for graduate students at MNSU. It passed without dissent.

The second motion, also proposed by Senator Lucier, called for an increase in closed-captioning service for MNSU students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also passed without dissent.

The third motion, proposed by President Rayani, was a simple logistical action appointing Vice President Maria Ruiz to the position of MNSU Board Director at the March/April Students United delegates assembly. President Rayani will not be able to serve in that capacity while he runs for the position of Students United State Chair. The motion passed.

Senators Connor Martin and Qendresa Isniqi announced an upcoming event they organized called “Refugees: Join the Discussion.” It will take place on Monday from 7-9 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom. The event was originally proposed as a response to President Trump’s original travel suspension.

In other campus political news, Ayoola Okurbido, a mechanical engineering major from Nigeria, was elected as President of the International Student Association in a student vote last Tuesday.

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