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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/Senate_switches_seats.html

Senate switches seats

Seeks to better represent changing student population

by Dannielle Higginbotham

Issue date: 02/12/09 Section: Senate News and Notes
The Minnesota State Student Association passed a motion Wednesday to give extra senate seats to the colleges of Arts and Humanities and Allied Health and Nursing.

This was done because student populations in the two colleges have increased, while the numbers in the colleges of Business and Social and Behavioral Sciences have decreased.

The seats will increased from two to three for Allied Health and one to two for Arts. Business will lose one seat, going from three to two, and SBS will also go from three to two.

"I think the numbers are pretty self-explanatory," said College of Arts and Humanities senator Kelly Biers. "The numbers haven't been reviewed for a long time and they should be every year to make sure the senate is accurately representing the university."

MSSA President Ryan Anderson agreed.

"I think this more accurately represents the make-up of the campus," he said.

The change in seats will go into effect next year.

The senate also heard a presentation from Information and Technology Services' Ted Johnson, who showed MSSA a new class schedule builder on the Registrar's Web site.

"This provides students with a calendar view of their schedule," Johnson said.

A student worker made the new program.

"The same student worker who came up with the MSU portal created this code on his own time," Johnson said. "He brought it to the department and they embraced it."

The program features a list of filters so students can block out times and days they don't want classes and the program won't show them. It also displays the number of credits a student is registered for.

"If you build your schedule and your registration window isn't yet open, you can save it, then send the URL to yourself and save the classes," Johnson said.

When it comes time to register, the calendar features a link to the quick add registration page.

"All a student needs to do is enter their pin number," Johnson said.

As of right now the only way to access the calendar is at the main page for the Registrar's office.

Johnson warned that the calendar feature is for people who know what is going on with their schedule, since it doesn't show things like registration holds and cancellations.

Assistant Director of Student Activities Ryan Yunkers gave a presentation on non-traditional students at MSU.

Non-traditional students include those who commute more than 15 miles, students more than 24 years old, veterans, married students and student parents.

"In a survey, non-traditional students said their top barriers to success were finding time to balance everything-money and class availability," Yunkers said.

One complaint from student parents was lack of adequate child care.

"We haven't looked into creating a day care center," Yunkers said.

"The ideal situation for this would be a cooperative of students who'll say, 'I'm free tonight so I'll watch these kids,' but the cost for liability would be astronomical," Yunkers said.

Yunkers said things MSU could do included offering more online classes, varying class times and promoting the non-traditional student center.

Dannie Higginbotham is a Reporter staff writer