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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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MSSA Concerned With Student Privacy

Senate Notes

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 2/1/07 Section: Campus News

The Minnesota State Student Association sent a strong message of how they feel about student privacy rights.

The senators unanimously passed a motion Wednesday opposing any changes proposed by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system that would allow parents, legal guardians or any other party to be notified of drug and alcohol violations and allow them to view data currently protected by both the federal privacy laws and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act without the consent of students between ages 18 to 20.

The motion recognized the concern of drug and alcohol use and the need to contact parents in the case of emergency, but said current laws already satisfy this aspect and that possible liabilities may be passed onto the university. The motion stated that students targeted in this Minnesota State proposal have already assumed many rights and responsibilities of adulthood.

"I feel this is a gross infringement of our civil liberties," College of Social and Behavioral Science Senator Ryan Anderson said.

Also at the student senate meeting, MSSA President Gabe Afolayan presented the results of a tuition and fee survey taken by nearly 2,000 students. Students were questioned about things such as how they pay for school, how many jobs they work and how much education-related debt they will have by the time they graduate.

Loans help 71 percent of those students pay for higher education, 57 percent receive aid from parents or their own finances and 22 percent get scholarships. Students were allowed to choose multiple answers.

While 16 percent of the students surveyed don't work, 55 percent have one job, 24 percent have two jobs and 4 percent work at three or more jobs.

Only 12 percent of students will have no debt, 14 percent will have less than $10,000, 24 percent will have $10,000 to $20,000, 22 percent will have $20,000 to $30,000, 14 percent will have $30,000 to $40,000 and 11 percent will have more than $40,000 to pay in debts.

Complete survey results can be found at the student senate office in Centennial Student Union 280.

Two new students joined the senator's table. Murtaza Rajabali was elected to the College of Science, Engineering and Technology seat. He is a sophomore in computer engineering and would like to work on ways students can help lower the cost of their education. Abbie Hill now fills an off-campus seat. She is a double major in marketing and mass communication and thinks a big issue on campus is the potential of the free lot becoming a paid lot and that the university could do more marketing.

MSSA Speaker Jered Jackson announced that elections will be held at next Wednesday's 4 p.m. meeting in CSU 284 for two undeclared seats and an open Maverick Hall seat.

College of Allied Health and Nursing Senator Casey Carmody invited all interested students to attend Rally Day Feb. 14 to rally on the steps of the state capitol for a tuition freeze. He said transportation and food would be provided and that anyone wanting more information should e-mail

Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer