Sen. Nick Frentz visits MNSU Student Government

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Student Government meeting hosted a presentation from Senator Nick Frentz yesterday. 

With family roots in Mankato dating back to nearly 150 years, Frentz was born in Japan and raised in Northern California due to his father’s military service. 

Throughout his upbringing, Frentz was a frequent visitor to Mankato, and soon after graduation, he decided to move back and live in the town. 

Working as a full time attorney in the area, Frentz campaigned and won a seat on the Minnesota State Senate as a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party during the 2016 election cycle 

Frentz has represented District 19 in Southern Minnesota since his election in 2016, and subsequently reelected during the 2020 election. 

Following his reelection, the senator took the role of assistant minority leader of the senate, as well as committee positions including being a ranking member of the Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy. 

“That means that it is my job to fight climate change,” said Frentz to the student senate. 

Frentz spoke to the senate about the importance of public service and the opportunities that are available for student leaders after and during college in the public sector. 

“Being in the (student) senate is a privilege, and I know that if I don’t leave you with any other thought it’s this,” said Frentz, “the students elected you to serve the greater good. And it is an honor and a privilege.”

He went on to describe the difficulties that come with disagreements which arise from constituents about their decisions. 

“Not everyone is going to agree with everything you do,” said Frentz,  “well tough toasties for them, if they want to run for senate, they can do that next time around.”

Frentz also went on to speak about the importance of speaking to people with differing opinions, citing a scourge of the “echo chamber” in American politics. 

“Don’t be afraid to talk to people who disagree with you,” said Frentz, who went on to ask the question, “What are you afraid they are going to do? Make sense?”

After roughly a 10 minute presentation, the floor was opened for questions. 

Vice President Kara Svercl asked a question about college affordability, citing difficulties for students amidst the pandemic and worries over tuition increases. 

Frentz mentioned that due to increased funding from COVID, the concern is not imminent, but in perpetuity, there may be an issue. 

“The state had a promise not too long ago to pay for 2/3rds of your higher education costs,” said Frentz, “we are way short on that. Way short.”

Frentz did console the current students by going on to say, “I think you are going to find that the short term is going to be okay, but the long term is still in question.”

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