Student Government talks structure, mental health, and civic engagement

Bailey Brendel ® Staff Writer |
Photo by Prasad Pol ® Staff Photographer |

The Minnesota State University, Mankato student government held a meeting in the Ostrander Auditorium. After roll call, they called up presentations Wednesday, Sept. 23. 

The first to present was Maddie Barrett to talk about spirit month. With COVID-19, unfortunately, MNSU is not able to have a homecoming celebration. However, the student government and the student events team want to keep the school spirit alive. According to Barrett, “MNSU”s spirit month will start next week on Sept. 29 and it will go through the end of October.” 

This spirit month will have numerous events including the Maverick Round Up carnival on Sept. 29, a free farmers market on Oct. 1, a food eating contest on Oct. 13, a car smash running from Oct. 13-15, and many more. In hopes to keep students enthused and in the homecoming spirits, the student government and events team hope that everyone will participate in spirit month. 

The next presentation was given by John Wilcock, the student government advisor, about the University structure. Wilcock described his job as trying to, “Help make sure that students understand a little bit about University structure, how some things work around here and some of the titles.” 

Throughout his presentation, Wilcock explained who everyone in the university administration is from the president all the way to the committees. He explains who each person is, what their position at the university is, and why their position is important to the student government. 

The next to present was Cathy Hughes on IT and tech support. “We have new this year, live tech help kiosks in a couple of different places on campus in the administration building near the cashier’s office, on the 1st floor of the library, and also in the IT solution center you can simply walk up to the kiosk, and one of our staff is on the other end like almost like a live zoom call, and they can help you with whatever your problem is,” Hughes said.

This is a new tool this year for students, so it relieves the stress of having to have face to face contact, but still gets you the direct tech help you need. She also brought up the complaints on the Wi-Fi in the dorms, and their plans to fix the issue in the next few weeks. 

After presentations they moved to reports. The first to report was President Andrew Trenne. He talked about how Students United is looking for delegates. Delegates can be any student, not just senators. Delegates meet twice a year and discuss their ideas with the higher ups. If you are interested in having your voice heard contact 

Trenne also talked about the mental health initiative that passed last week, and that there will be more info about how that works in the following weeks. Vice President Maltare also gave a report and talked about the Chipotle fundraiser for Campus Kitchen, and the senate events they will be having soon.

The next report was from Senator Andrew Weinzierl, who works with civic engagement. “We’re working directly on strategically planning how we’re going to increase voter turnout, and voter registration. We’re making sure people are aware of their voting location because of the current pandemic. Many things have changed in the past months and things could continue to change too before Election Day,” said the senator as he talked about his plans to increase the number of voters on campus.

Weinzierl also talked about a few plans he has in motion involving the gaming community and streamlining student access to electronics. Senator Swancutt also gave a report on helping students in a housing crisis, with more information to come in the next couple weeks.

The last piece on the agenda was announcements. During this time they brought up the new swipe out hunger program that allows students 10 free swipes to the university dining center if you have food insecurities or are struggling to eat on campus. As well as, the new FloBird app that you can use to reserve your parking spot on campus. 

The next student government meeting will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m. in the Ostrander Auditorium.

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