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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_hears.html

Senate Hears Budget Presentations

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 1/18/07 Section: Campus News

The first student senate meeting of the semester consisted mostly of student activity fee budget presentations from five organizations.

Director of student health services Christine Connolly said student activity fees make up 59 percent of her budget.

Some of its new projects, Connolly said, included opening a women's clinic from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Monday of the month beginning in February. She said this clinic is beneficial because it offers better access to non-traditional students with its evening hours and frees up time during the day for other patients since these appointments take longer.

The health services will also remain open during summer and winter breaks every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Connolly said this is especially helpful to international students who stay in the area during breaks.

A future increase to the health services budget, Connolly said, will be for rent. She said residential life increased the rate by about eight percent so that the rent is the same amount paid by other offices renting space on campus. Before this the student health services' rent had been lower than what other offices paid on campus, Connolly said.

Centennial Student Union and Student Activities Director Laurie Woodward said 34 percent - or $3,303,096 - of all student activity fees go to the operation and maintenance of the CSU.

According to her presentation, 83 percent of the CSU revenue comes from student activity fees. Rental income provided another 6 percent and 11 percent is self-generated. Some of the major CSU expenses are employee services, debt service, repair and replacement and deferred maintenance reduction.

Woodward listed several future projects for the CSU, including replacing the roof above the ballroom, holding a campaign to name the ballroom, relocating some offices and creating a new conference room. She said additional funding opportunities would also be explored because of the possibility of decreasing enrollment.

Director of technical services for information and technology services Bryan Schneider's presentation showed that the technology fee made up 36 percent - or $2,310,000 - of the department's total budget. He said 41 percent of the technology fees are distributed to the Academic Computer Center, 23 percent to classroom equipment, 22 percent to infrastructure and 14 percent to other projects, like MavPRINT.

Every student pays $7 per credit, or an $84 maximum, for a technology fee, Schneider said. As a comparison to technology fees paid by students attending other institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, St. Cloud State has a $4.14 fee and Bemidji State has a $8 fee, Schneider's presentation demonstrated.

Schneider said 40 computers were added to the library this summer and MavPRINT locations had been expanded. He said there are about 1,200 computers on campus.

Schneider said future projects include a new MavMail, replacing the MavDISK/MavMail storage network and installing an emergency broadcast system.

Director of athletics Kevin Buisman said student fees play an important part in providing and maintaining resources for about 600 student athletes and the athletic programs. Athletics receives $2,266,860 in student activity fees, according to one of his handouts.

Buisman said he was encouraged by the increase of student attendance at athletic events. His handout showed a projected total attendance for fiscal year 2007 to be 36,500, as compared to the 26,909 attendance figure from fiscal year 2004.

He said the athletic department contributes to the community by providing internship opportunities and performing more than 1,000 hours in community service.

Theater and dance faculty member Julie Kerr-Berry presented on the activities of repertory dance, although no information about the use of student activity fees was given. She said a dance major was instituted last year and now there are 15 students with a dance major and 40 dance minors. Kerr-Berry said two concerts are performed each year along with many outreach programs and guests artists are brought in to work with students.

Two open seats for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences were filled by political science sophomore Brad Kraus and sophomore Ryan Anderson who just resigned his undeclared seat. Elections for two undeclared, one off-campus and one College of Science, Engineering and Technology seats will be held at the Minnesota State Student Association meeting at 4 p.m. Jan. 31 in CSU 284.

Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer