Senate prepares to seal the fall semester

Student Government held their second to last meeting of the semester Wednesday and discussed issues relating to Spring 2023. The issues ranged from enforcing faculty textbook selection deadlines, election subsidies for senators and a message from IT Solutions about Wi-Fi improvement.

Bryan Schneider, Assistant CIO and Director of Technology Services in IT Solutions previewed a Wi-Fi improvement project that students will see after semester break. IT’s goal is to get every student device on their preferred Wi-Fi network, eduroam, and phase out the MavNet and MavNet-Encrypted networks.

Eduroam is an international network used in higher education. It has a more complicated initial setup process than MavNet, particularly for those with Chromebooks. This means more students gravitate toward the MavNet networks. Schneider said eduroam has more advantages than MavNet and MavNet-Encrypted because it does not require a login beyond the initial setup, unlike MavNet which prompts users to give their Star ID and password when they attempt to connect. This feature often malfunctions when users change their password. Eduroam will also connect to users’ devices when they travel to any other university that uses it.

According to Schneider, MavNet-Encrypted is “one of our oldest networks” and is not as secure as eduroam. 

“We’re trying to get rid of that one, but we have to get everyone on eduroam first. So, we’re going to try to phase that out over the next semester.”

Schneider said IT will have a campaign during the spring semester to advertise eduroam and inform students on the network’s advantages. They are also working over winter break to test signal strength in different areas on campus to improve speed in weak zones.

Instructions for connecting to eduroam are on the MSU IT Solutions website. 

Other issues regarding the next semester were discussed by the senators. The senate passed two resolutions: The Student Government Subsidy Resolution Amendment and the Textbook Deadline Resolution.

Meme Cronin, Chief Commissioner of the MSU Elections Commission, presented the election rules and timeline for the next election cycle.

Student Government will start providing election campaign subsidies to candidates for printing campaign literature, such as posters and handouts. This was suggested by Senate President Emma Zellmer and passed by the commission before the vote in the senate. There is precedent for other, non-governmental elections on campus to receive funding for printing materials, such as homecoming royalty, and this resolution was written to model other campus elections.

A subsidy of $10 will be provided to any person running for a senate  position with no party membership and up to $50 will be given to each party for the candidates to split. The money will be used at university printing services to print campaign literature, such as posters and handouts advertising their campaign.

“The posters are a substantial part of the campaigning experience on campus. So, this will be a way to help people who may not be part of a party, or might not be able to supplement their own finances to engage that way,” Cronin said.

Election Commission member and Senator David Wing said the subsidies are “essentially to increase equity within our elections” by granting access to campaign literature to those running against an opponent with more financial resources.

The resolution passed unanimously with one abstention over Zoom.

The Textbook Deadline Resolution, originally passed by the 87th Student Government was another resolution passed Wednesday. It reminds faculty and departments to follow the state and federal law requiring them to have their textbook orders placed before the deadline. According to Zellmer, who was the speaker of this senate, Minnesota State colleges have not been enforcing this policy. 

“This never happens. They are not being held to this,” Zellmer said. “If a student needs to drop a class because they cannot afford the book, they should know before the semester starts.” She said students need time to reassess their schedule and search for affordable textbook resources.

According to Zellmer, this resolution has not been followed since its initial passing in spring 2020. She decided to have the resolution passed again to remind administration of its existence and their responsibility to enforce the state and federal law.

The resolution also passed unanimously with two abstentions over Zoom.

Header photo: As the semester winds down, spring 2023 issues were discussed which included faculty textbook deadlines and Wi-Fi improvements. A resolution was passed regarding the pay for textbooks. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)

Write to Carly Bahr at caroline.bahr@mnsu.edu

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