Student Gov: Budget discussions concluded, potential rock garden

Following up with the big budget meeting last week, the Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Government wrapped up financial discussions with last night’s athletic budget conversation.

Intercollegiate Athletics asked for a 2% increase in its budget for the next fiscal year. However, the Student Government felt the recommended allocation should be lowered to a 0% increase, so there would be no increase. 

The government felt there was no extreme necessity of a 2% increase, therefore, they were not in favor of it. This change was voted on by the Student Senate and passed unanimously.

Student Health Fees originally asked for a 1.45% budget increase for the next fiscal year. Again, the Student Senate moved to lower this to a 0% increase, so there would be no increase in the budget. This comes from the statement that other departments have experienced a larger hit due to COVID and need the money more. 

However, some Senators believe the budget increase is needed in order to help Student Health Services become a  well-funded service to students on campus following COVID. This was countered with the fact that the health center does have an immense amount of money to fall back on. The Senate moved to pass this motion and change the budget for the next fiscal year to a 0% increase.

“I voted in favor of increasing the budget of Student Health Services because they serve an important purpose on campus, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Emma Gabbert.

Technology fees asked for a 4.5% increase. This increase was passed in a unanimous vote allotting them an increase of 4.5%.

“I’m in favor of the 4.5% increase as the money  goes towards vital resources on our campus, such as added Zoom capabilities in classrooms, and added online resources, such as  improvements to D2L. As our campus becomes more technologically evolved, our tech fees need to continue to increase to follow the trend. I think the added tech fee will also allow our campus to compete with other campuses and increase enrollment for the future of MNSU,” said Senator Jack Wheeler.

Senators were then given the opportunity to give quick updates on the projects they’ve been working on throughout the year. Sen. Emma Gabbert is looking to provide more internship opportunities for Mass Media majors, as it can be difficult for these students to find these jobs. Sen. Zoey Macklanburg is working with some other Senators to propose the budget to create a LGBTQ Residential Community.

Sen. Reauna Stiff is currently working with residential life staff who focus on off-campus housing to bring in more community advisors to these types of housings. Sen. Nathan Pham is attempting to update the MavPass program, a tutoring program designed to help students navigate classes that have been known to be difficult, and help spread the word on this service. Pham is also working with the International Student Center to help them be more aware of MavPass.

To add to the scenery on campus, Sen. Zach Wickman is proposing to create a Fraternity and Sorority rock “garden” to help spotlight all the hard work Greek Life does on campus.

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