Minnesota State’s Student Government recommended $2.89 million in allocations Wednesday after roughly six hours of deliberation.
The senate’s decision means students will pay $10.21 more in student fees each semester, which amounts to a nearly 9% increase in the overall student fee budget. However, because the increase is larger than 2%, the student body will vote to approve the increase. That vote will take place in April during the Student Government elections. Although it is ultimately up to President Inch and the board of trustees to approve this budget.
“I hope that everyone goes out and supports the primary budget request. It is an 8.96% increase in student fees,” President Emma Zellmer said.
If the student body does not pass this recommended budget, the senate will defer to its backup budget which would decrease substantially most departments’ budgets across the board.
Programs that saw their budgets increased by the senate include the Maverick Food Pantry, which received an increase of $5,000. Other departments that got an increase included the Multicultural Center, Gender & Sexuality programs and Music Ensembles by $1,000.
Other departments were not as lucky. Student Government recommended decreasing the Maverick Involvement Team funding by $3,760.
“I am slightly disappointed,” Yohanis Ferede, Graduate Advisor RSOs and Leadership, said. “However, I am relieved that the initial higher suggested cut by a few senators did not go through, as it would have resulted in a decline in the quality and support we provide to recognized student organizations we have on campus.”
The meeting began, with a period of drama. Zellmer called for an executive session — where the entire student leadership body goes into a private session — to discuss a situation involving a full-time staff member and what she called “ethical standards.” The situation involved the ethical standards regarding the appeal process.
“(The executive session occurred because of) something Idman and I found out last Thursday about a university staff member who sent an email out to departments,” Zellmer said. “Although it never directly asked them not to appeal, depending on who you are, it could’ve been interpreted that way.”
To address this concern, Zellmer sent an email Monday to those departments stating they extended the appeal deadline up until the meeting.
“We will have our ethics and standards committee conduct a review of what was sent out, and the possible issues that were brought up, and how the student government can address that moving forward,” Zellmer said.
One major motion that impacted the length of deliberations was the passage of an omnibus bill that approved over 10 different activities fees at once including The Reporter’s allocation of $136,645.
“We trusted the Student Allocation Committee’s judgment on many line items. We spread the cuts that needed to happen equally among the departments, while still prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion and student support,” said Zellmer.
Header Photo: MSU Student Government body calls to order the annual student activity fee budget meeting for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. (Dylan Engel)
Write to Julia Lin at Julia.Barton@mnsu.edu