ArticlePage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/mssa/news/html/speaker.html
MSSA Elects New Speaker
President Davenport speaks as new senate holds first meeting.
Issue date: 5/3/07 Section: Senate Notes
Media Credit: Emmeline Elliott
Senator Ryan Anderson (right) was
elected speaker for the Minnesota
State Student Association Wendesday.
Anderson takes the place of
Jared Jackson (left).
Several new faces sitting at the student senate tables met someone they will become familiar with next school year.
Minnesota State President Richard Davenport spoke to the 75th Minnesota State Student Association during its first meeting yesterday to offer his congratulations to the new officers and share his vision of the campus master plan.
He noted the university has more than $100 million in building projects happening right now - the new Trafton science building and Julia Sears residence hall.
Davenport said he would have liked to see the referendum for the outdoor recreation facilities upgrade pass to improve the fields, but that he respected the students' decision and that administration would try to do a better job educating students about the project next time.
The president said his master plan has some bold thoughts that he would like to see come about in the next five to six years.
His plan, which is still in the early exploratory stages, would make MSU a pedestrian campus with an arboretum feel. He would like to implement a shuttle service to new parking hubs and use current parking areas to construct new buildings, such as the College of Business building that he proposes to be located in the parking lot diagonal from the Taylor Center. Another part of his vision is to have skywalks between all the buildings and discuss with the county the possibility of slowing traffic on Stadium Road by redirecting traffic to a new road that would run behind the athletic fields.
"We're talking about a major change in the way this campus looks," Davenport said.
The school is seeking private funds to construct the new College of Business building, Davenport said, and would be the first academic building on a public university in the state where all the money for the building and maintenance is fundraised. He said he hoped the building would be started in the next two years.
A new College of Social and Behavioral Sciences building and an additional residence hall are also part of his master plan.
Davenport said another goal is to turn the school into a flagship state university, where eventually it will come to be known simply as "State" through marketing campaigns.
"These are exciting times for the university," Davenport said.
Davenport also talked about tuition. He said democratic candidates who promised to keep tuition down during the last election looked like they were holding to their promise. The president said he anticipated a 2-3 percent increase in tuition for next year, which is the lowest amount he's seen in a decade.
In other senate news, the student senate elected Ryan Anderson as speaker for the 2007-08 school year. Anderson has served nearly two years as a senator - first as an undecided senator and then in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences seat - and was also on several committees, such as student affairs and academic affairs. He was also the legislative coordinator during the elections last semester.
Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer