The Student Government meeting was visited by Chancellor Devinder Malhotra and members of the Presidential Search Committee, looking for student input on the new president of Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Malhotra was in a series of listening sessions all day, looking for faculty and student’s insights on MNSU as a university, and what they’d like to see from a new president.
The Chancellor opened the meeting by asking students why they came to MNSU, what they like about the university, and what they would like to see improved on campus.
Several members of Student Government stood to voice their opinions and concerns on matters pertaining to the search for the new leader of the campus.
Many senators including Minahil Khan spoke, advocating for international students on campus.
“One thing I really appreciate about our current president is how welcoming he is to international students,” Khan said about President Richard Davenport.
Khan also spoke to the idea of bringing together both international students and domestic students during orientation. As opposed to the current orientation system that has both groups split in two.
Senator Cat Nelson spoke to the need for transparency from the University when it comes matters pertaining to students.
“I work at a hospital,” said Nelson, bringing up concerns about COVID transmissions, “and I have avoided coming to campus at all cost because I don’t really know how many people on campus have it.”
Former Student Government president Anisa Omar also was in attendance, advocating for the inclusion and importance of diversity in the president’s cabinet as well as the search committee.
“Looking at it now, it is very white,” said Omar, speaking about the diversity on the cabinet and search committee, “and their experiences do not relate to the experiences of many of the students of color.”
In response to this, Lauren McCaghren, a member of the search committee said, “We are very proud that 57 percent of our placements are female or persons of color, we have a very long history of placements in that area.”
Several other topics were brought forward at the meeting, including ensuring student voices are heard, challenges facing first generation students, and the on-campus experience for students during the pandemic.
The Chancellor finished off the meeting by stating how happy he was with the engagement of the students who attended the session.
“It was a delight to talk to you,” said Malhotra, “This was the best session of my last month.”
If you want to make your voice heard on the topic of the new president, you can contact either Steve Barrett or Sheri Sargent. Another option is to fill out a survey located at https://mnscu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3OhaSbGufve69hz
Header photo: Senator Minahil Khan is seen stating concerns relating to international students during Chancellor Malhotra’s listening session in Ostrander Auditorium, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 in Mankato. (Kjerstin Hall/The Reporter)