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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/mssa/news/html/Referendum.html

Students Ask for Referendum On Campus Rec Proposal

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 2/22/07 Section: Senate Notes

Students representing several men's club sports packed the gallery at yesterday's student senate meeting to ask that the choice to fund the outdoor campus recreation proposal go to a vote by the student body.

The students presented a petition to the Minnesota State Student Association with about 325 signatures asking that students be allowed to vote and decide if student fees should fund part or all of the $14 million proposal.

Elections committee member Michael Bruner said that the number of valid signatures did not meet the 250 signatures required by the MSSA constitution to bring an issue to referendum, which states that signers must be enrolled students and list an address. After 84 signatures were deemed ineligible due to no listed address and others not giving their tech ID or no longer being an enrolled student, only 243 signatures were qualified on the petition.

Bruner also said the wording of the ballot the students wish to bring forward was too vague.

The MSSA passed a motion not to validate the signatures of the petition supporting a referendum, but did encourage students to resubmit a new petition with 250 valid names, addresses and signatures with a specific proposal and costs.

Graduate Studies senator Katie Ischkin said that if the MSSA was to bring this to the student body, the petition needed to be credible.

Andrew Willmert from club baseball, Ben MacLean from club lacrosse and Graham Johnson from club rugby spoke to the student senate about why they would like the outdoor campus recreation proposal passed, specifically for the updates to the fields they use.

Willmert said there isn't a field for club baseball to use on campus and the team is forced to practice at other schools.

MacLean said that the lacrosse field surface is uneven and so close to the softball fields that balls are often hit into the neighboring fields, which "could cause injury."

The rugby team was moved to the infield of the outdoor track after they were displaced by the construction of the new dorms, Johnson said, and that the infield was "a sham" and full of debris.

Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer