MinutesPage address: https://www.mnsu.edu/mssa/docs/minutes_years/minutes/2001-2002/minutes_10_03_01.html
69th MSSA Senate
October 3, 2001 Minutes
Meeting called to order at 4:00 P.M. by Speaker Rachel D. Noah
Roll Call (present-absent-proxy-excused)
Senators Present Daniela Rumpf 7-0-0, Byron Pike 7-0-0, Beenish Malhi 3-0-0, Rachael Horne 7-0-0, Andrew Menden 3-0-0, Matt Osmondson 5-2-0, Richard Dueser 3-0-0, Brian Mullin 7-0-0, Jayson Read 7-0-0, Katie Garrity 7-0-0, Parrish Jones 6-1-0, Dan Peskorz 5-2-0, Ryan Austad 3-0-0, Stephanie White 7-0-0, Ashley Guetter 3-0-0, Omni Peterson 3-0-0, Mikel Akers 6-0-1, Jason Casey 6-0-1, Monica Klein 7-0-1, Joe Muggli 7-0-0, Stacy Wiech 3-0-0, Ian Radtke 7-0-0, Zach Biesanz 3-0-0, James Tung 7-0-0, Cassandra Linkeymeyer 3-0-0, Adam Poole 6-0-0-1
Jacob Helgeson 2-3-0-2
Executive Staff Present
President Roger White Owl
Executive Staff Absent
Vice President Uzair Shaffi
Mark Johnson, Vice President Information Technology Services
Vice President Johnson: Summer technology initiatives. Last year we had a tech committee for and by the senate. I met with them every week. Committee decided things they would like to see happen with the tech fee last year and ITS has been working on getting them started.
Plans are to outfit every classroom with base system and start upgrading (bids are in).
Did not go for Microsoft campus agreement because senate did not recommend this.
Increased printing resources (now available in the library and more in the ACC)
Internet access and student wireless devices-received some federal money for this and in the process of getting them out to faculty to create projects for students.
Not enough dialup access but also not enough money to resolve the problem.
Tables/locations for recharging student laptops -- no student money used for this.
Most common areas in MSU covered with wireless.
Web based curriculum -- did purchase over the summer but no student money used. Received a significant amount of money from state and purchased Ucompass. Training faculty now, starting to roll it out.
Commerce -- looking into ways to do more transactions online.
Laptop-loaner -- no good solution yet. Want to have a committee.
Training for students -- no enhancement, some offered through ACC
ACC -- continue to improve the ACC, 13 satellite labs, enhancement to open lab and classrooms. Will arrange a tour for the senate to see the changes if desired.
Senator Pike: Briefly inform us of the 2-3 year plan. What do we need on this campus? What are we lacking?
Vice President Johnson: I don't have a 3 year plan. One thing we lack is a strong strategic plan for where the institution is going. We could take that and augment it with technology. We've identified many areas due to student's feedback (tech roundtable). No new technology in classrooms. Same chairs, blackboards, tables as in 1981. We need to focus on getting technology into the hands of faculty and students and especially in the classroom. For presentations and enhancing the classroom experience. Talks and speeches in industry/health can use powerpoint. I do see some movement towards laptops. More students bringing computers to campus. We need to have the services available to give to students. That is what we're focusing on and that is what students have told me. I think we are ahead in some areas (wireless service).
Senator Menden: More and more students are bringing computers on campus, so could the ACC be made smaller or rotated?
Vice President Johnson: Yes, but the question is timing. There is no decrease in students using the ACC but there are shifts in the usage. Less users of Macs. We are trying to react to the usage. There is a three-five year rotation of equipment. Equipment in the lab is 2-3 years old and after that it gets used in other labs. We should take a look at where the ACC is going and see what we need. We are seeing a slowdown in the hardware needed. Hardware moving faster than software. Maybe people need more printers and support because people are bringing their computers.
Senator Gaffer: The athletic department cannot replace their Macintosh's with newer ones and are told that they have to use Dell and that isn't what they need for PR work. They need newer Macs to help with training for students. Because they don't have newer technology to do layouts, they have to take money from their budget to get it laid out in printing services (also Mac based). What is your reaction to that and is it true that the University does not want more Macs ?
Vice President Johnson: I don't know the answer to that specific question. Across campus we have older computers than I have seen in the industry. For the Mac vs. PC question, it's difficult to answer, the trend is that more people want PC's. We sell/service both in the computer store. We chose Dell because they gave us the best prices for what we got. I don't know specifics of policies. I don't think there is an official policy regarding this. Clearly in some disciplines Macs are needed more and we do need them. Diversity of technology.
S.R. Nithy: Flew to New York and saw the city after the disaster on Sept. 11th . Met with some of the families affected. Was going through a place with very tight security. Police/New Yorkers were very surprised to find someone from Minnesota and it was great. Many volunteers came from other places to help. Everyone can get involved with the Red Cross. Monks Ave. -- Red Cross center. Disasters can happen anywhere and volunteers are needed.
Senator Read: Are there any type of time commitments?
Nithy: Not really, you have to have the right clearance. You have to have a pass. They will check your pass and they will have your name.
Senator Garrity: What type of help are they looking for?
Nithy: I speak three languages and so I was helping with translations. I have emergency recovery skills and also used those. Met with families and took them to the right agencies.
Senator Malhi: What can we do in Mankato?
Nithy: Send them a card. They are working all the time and need support. Send to the firefighters, police, INS. Even here on campus, students are here for the same reason you are.
Senator Read: If you would like to help out at the Red Cross, are they looking for a specific times or when you have a chance?
Nithy: It all depends on your schedule. If there is a real disaster, it could be 24hrs, 48hrs, week, month. It depends on the problem. Right now in NY, the most important thing they need is translators. Can always register yourself with Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. They can call you and you can respond when they need you.
Approval of Agenda
Under student forum #5 add elections
Under Senator reports -- spelling corrections
Senator Pike: I move to suspend the rules (because of time limit).
Seconded by Senator Garrity.
Senator Mullin: Why?
Senator Pike: We have a vast amount of information from myself and Rick. 10 minutes isn't enough time.
Passed -- no time limits on senator reports today.
Senator Horne: Wish to be removed from the senator reports.
Senator White: Move that Legislative Affairs be added to committee reports
Seconded by Senator Reed.
Approving the modified agenda -- passed.
Approval of Minutes -- none. Minutes approved.
President White Owl
I've been addressing the concerns of the veto I had last week. I met with the task force and it was very constructive. I also met with task force/open forum meeting with some senators and aviation students. I had a meeting with interim president Dr. Boubel. I would like to read a letter from her:
Partly agree that students should be provided with all information available. At your request, my office will be providing you with written information for you to share with other students. Contact for other questions.
Also she has written a lengthy letter to the aviation students. I have copies. Huge victory for us for the president to open the lines of communication. An aviation student had a meeting with her this morning. Came to the same consensus that I did about open information. Information is going to be there for us and all we need now is the open line of communication. Aside from that, I want to congratulate my coordinators for this. Great job, etc. A lot of rumors and hearsay going around.
Senator Biesanz: The letter mentions a RFP process. What is this?
President White Owl: I don't know what that is. Part of it is when they go through finding a vendor.
Speaker Rachel D. Noah
Recognized Student Organizations
Ethnic Graduate Student Association, Superfans , MSU Pre-Med Club, First Nations Club
Indian Student Association-point of order regarding Indian Student Association renewal by senator Tung, clarification, Student Association for India previously recognized
Kappa Sigma, Bangladesh Student Association, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, COSBO
Senator Casey-What is their purpose?
Speaker Noah: Work with College of Business organizations (RSO's)
Campus Lutheran Chapel, Newman Center , Pakistan Student Association
I would like to encourage all of you to do senator reports. After everyone on the agenda has finished, if anyone would like to come up after that I will suspend the rules. You must make three senator reports per semester. If you were recently elected, you have to do two. Not enough people have made their reports already. They outline what you are doing, what you plan to do and what you have done. There will be some today so you can see what they are like. It's important to represent your constituency.
Senator Guetter: I was wondering if there might be a make-up for orientation?
Speaker Noah: Yes. Next Wednesday at 11am. Please contact me if you can't be there.
Senator Casey: I like chocolate.
Senator Garrity: What can the senator reports be on?
Speaker Noah: Anything. Don't read verbatim.
President White Owl: Due to the recent strike, have the senators been coming in and doing their office hours?
Speaker Noah: I have seen some people but I would really encourage all of you to do your two hours,. answer phones, questions.
Senator Peterson: Can we still add our names today for senator reports?
Speaker Noah: Yes
Senator Peskorz: Was my first senator report counted?
Speaker Noah: No
Senator Casey: When we make those reports, do we also need to make a written one?
Speaker Noah: Yes. We at least need an outline. Your deadline, except for today, is Tuesday at noon. Please have an outline turned in by 4pm on Wednesday.
Vice President Shaffi
I don't have a real report organized. Just drove in from the cities. Went to the Minnesota State Cultural Diversity conference. Draft worked on was sent to all administrators around the state and they changed it to how they wanted it. All of our work went down the drain.
To the senators: We're moving in the right direction. I want to see all of you work with the executive staff. I sense a rift at times in the office. We're all here to serve the students and the last thing we want is divide within ourselves.
Senator Read: Would it be possible to have a list of names per committee in the office?
Vice President Shaffi: Sure.
Senator Muggli: I was wondering when the final member of SAC will be appointed and the tech committee.
Vice President Shaffi: Looking for applications for SAC still. As far as Tech Committee, I'm hoping it will be starting soon. Plan to meet with Tech Coordinator this week to finalize this.
Senator Garrity: Can the final SAC person be a senator?
Vice President Shaffi: No, there can only be three senators and they are already filled.
Senator Garrity: Are there any qualifications needed?
Vice President Shaffi: No. I've read some applications but I'm still keeping it open.
Senator Austad moves to allow the gallery to speak..
Seconded by Senator Peskorz Passed.
Gary McKinley-I was asked to come here to answer any questions about the strike. I work in ITS Services for Mark Johnson.
Vice President Shaffi: Is it true that MAPE employees are being paid minimum wage to picket?
Vice President Shaffi: Is there a timeline for the strike?
Mr. McKinley: MAPE will hold out as long as it can. Would like to get back to the table next week.
Senator Garrity: What can students do to support the strikers?
Mr. McKinley: Talk with them about their opinions. Speak to them.
Senator Casey: What's going to happen with computer services the longer the strike goes on?
Mr. McKinley: I'd like to think it will continue without us. I don't expect any real problems.
Senator Muggli: Is there anything that students can do such as e-mailing legislators/governor?
Mr. McKinley: We appreciate that support but it's up to the students to do that.
Been working on the aviation problems with the task force. I don't have any more comments to add to what President White Owl said. . Students were able to give input on the city's stance and what jurisdiction they had with what was going on with the program. Mayor said 2% with what's going on because the city owns the airport. They are willing to work with students and the university on this, as plans may go forward for space renovation.
Working on a plan to get involved with the student organizations/associations on campus so that this body can utilize them as a resource for whatever we need. For special events, lobby season, other issues around campus. Parking/student Union Board -- would be nice to get input from students.
President White Owl: Have you had any experience in setting up e-mails to legislators?
Coordinator Gaffer: Yes. I helped to get information on who to e-mail for specific issues. Hot sheets to check out various web sites. Sample e-mails. I will likely be posting them in the Legislative Affairs area. We could get going with e-mail stations. We could extend that again into the residence halls.
Had 3 items but the first two didn't happen. Student Affairs committee. Zac is working on a plan for Chartwells for better vegetarian options. Working with RHA on things. Difficult due to the strike.
Senator Garrity: Reporting on the ad-hoc committee to try to overturn the veto.
Senator Pike: Applause for us! We've gotten to the bottom of this. Vote of no confidence was wrong. If we were to make one, it would be much more specific.
If we were to do one, it would be for naming names/actions but we don't need to.
Senator Dueser: The committee was to exist for one week to decide if we should overturn the veto. We gathered a lot of info and we are certain something was bad. But the resolution that was passed was not meaningful because: the term contract negotiation committee is not specific enough, "no contest" is a statement that comes at the end of your attempts to get answers from people, we have the ability to bring the administration in here and they can explain it to us. We haven't gotten to that point yet and we should do that before we make a vote of no confidence. Aviation students felt they were being stonewalled for information on contract negotiations. They wanted answers for things like where they were being moved at the airport, will it affect their flight training, etc. They felt the administration was not answering them. Two senators attended the meeting faculty had to answer questions and they came back and felt that the administration was also evasive. Also, Byron and I met with the Dean and asked specific questions about what would happen to the Aviation Dept -- example: controversy over the length of the contract, was supposed to be a 3 year contract and the airport contact has to be for 5 years and one company pulled out because of that. Thunderbird now has a contract for 5 years.
Senator Kline: Will you be distributing a copy of what your findings are?
Senator Pike: We are not ready to do that yet. We still have meetings to do. During our report we will go into major detail on why we still have problems with what is happening.
Senator Austed: Can people volunteer for this committee?
Senator Dueser: We'll request nominations at the end of this meeting.
Committee Motion #10.03.01 Academic Affairs
Move to establish a senate ad-hoc committee for the purpose of further investigating the aviation contract controversy,
Further, be it resolved that the committee shall consist of six members,
Further, be it resolved that these members be nominated and elected by this governing body immediately
Motion Passes President White Owl abstain
Nominations for the ad-hoc committee
Senator Muggli nominates Rick Dueser.
Senator Garrity nominates Byron Pike.
Senator Pike nominates Katie Garrity.
Senator Peskorz nominates himself.
Senator Mullin nominates himself
Senator Horne nominates Andrew Menden...
Senator Kline nominates herself.
President White Owl nominates Senator Horne.
Point of Information by Senator White Owl -Could we have the person who drafted the motion clarify the "senate committee...?'
Senator Dueser: Intended to be a group of senators to meet with the administration.
Vice President Shaffi nominates Stacey Wiech
Senator Austed nominates himself
All but Senator Horne accepts.
Senator Biesanz: Wouldn't more people be helpful for this committee? Why trim it down?
Speaker Noah: The motion is for 6 people.
Senator Biesanz: The drafter should decide what they originally meant.
Speaker Noah: I'm going to rule that there be six members only.
Speaker Noah: You each have one minute to introduce yourselves and state why you want to be on the committee or anything else. Call in the order of nominations
Senator Dueser: I've been involved in the senate investigation for a week now and that has required a very large commitment. I've absorbed a lot of information about it already. As a part of the investigation I've established a relationship with key students/faculty/administrators. I feel this will help the committee because these key people have information on the issue.
Senator Pike: I was part of the ad-hoc committee. I've been in on every meeting that we've had. 20-30 hours worth of meetings. Rick, I and Katie are the three most knowledgeable people on the committee. My qualifications are the same as Rick's. I've got meetings set up later this week. Vast knowledge of this. Every side of this. Useful to keep someone like myself on the committee.
Senator Garrity: Also part of the ad-hoc committee. Did not make the last day due to a commitment in the cities. Like Rick and Byron I have connections. Students are a bit reluctant to talk to us. Been present in meetings, they are familiar with me, knowledgeable about the topic.
Senator Peskorz: I'm extremely enthusiastic about getting involved with something so important on campus. I have been interested from the beginning. More than willing and do have time to put in time and effort.
Senator Mullin: Fifth year CS student, academic focus is on problem solving and looking at all angles. One area that isn't being looked at is the company's. Their standpoint. I am frequently in meetings. In the past I've had many contacts on campus. Friends that are instructors out at the airport.
Senator Mendin: Senator for the College of Education and this falls under this College. I think it's my duty to do this. It's a great need for a lot of students and it falls under my department.
Senator Kline: Want to be involved in this. Would love to work with Byron, Katie and Rick. I was elected to senate to represent the students and that's what I want to do.
Senator Wiech: Academic Affairs Coordinator. Part of the purpose of the group is to give info to the president of the university.
Senator Austed: I don't know much about the issue but from what I do see I need to get involved. I don't see how the city is at fault so I'd present a different viewpoint.
Senator Radtke: Are you all aware of the large time commitments for this?
Senator Pike: I've already rearranged my life for the last week. Out of work, neglected homework, not a big deal. Right now my job is up to myself because everyone else is on strike. I'm very available.
Senator Garrity: I too am aware of how much time this would take -- we've had meetings etc at odd hours. This is a priority for me and make the time for it.
Senator Peskorz: Beyond the shadow of a doubt. Where I don't have time, I will make it. This is extremely important to me.
Senator Mullin: Yes, I am aware of the time commitment and I am willing to make it.
Senator Mendin: Yes I do know the time commitment. Byron is my roommate and he has told me about the time commitment and I will be willing to rearrange my life for this.
Senator Kline: Yes, every week I'm juggling my schedule. I'd rather be too busy and be involved than doing nothing. Yes, I can commit time for this.
Senator Wiech: I will be working no more than one day a week so it will be a lot easier for me to rearrange my schedule to attend meetings and everything to help the committee achieve its goals.
Senator Austed: I'm not aware of the time commitments and I doubt I have that much time to put into it. I probably cut myself off at this point. 5-7 hours a week.
Senator Dueser: This has already had a great affect on my schedule and I've rearranged my schedule because of it. I've already put the investment into it and it's an extremely important issue.
Senator Muggli Move for a 5 minute recess for the purpose of a caucus.
Speaker Noah: The candidates are: Dueser, Pike, Garrity, Peskorz, Mullin, Menden, Klein, Wiech, Austad. Write ONE candidate only. If you write more, your vote is disqualified.
Senator Dueser has been elected by majority.
Senator Garrity has been elected by majority
Senator Pike has been elected by majority
Senator Menden has been elected by majority.
Senator Klein has been elected by majority.
Senator Peskorz has been elected by majority.
Student Union Board, Chair Gaffer
We had another meeting yesterday. Trying to meet on a weekly basis. There is one other spot available on the board. FYI, the bon fire has been cancelled. Janet Reno will probably be rescheduled because she refuses to cross the picket line. Concerning stipends brought up by Senator Muggli. As the Chair and Vice Chair of the Student Union Board, what we thought about was perhaps have the stipend be for additional services performed like Master Planning, other events, other duties that are beyond what members have. Stipends for the Student Union Board would be coming out of their budget.
Cindy West: This year we're holding the regional conference for all student unions in our region. It's very time consuming. I'll be for whatever you think is correct.
Chair Gaffer: I Creceived $1500, vice chair received $1000. For additional duties-if we would attend another event, getting compensation for travelling would be good. It's your decision.
Senator Pike; Will there be bonding issues
Chair Gaffer: There is some meeting coming up for some of the bonding stuff. The bonding stuff is just the information put out there so far.
SAC, Chair Pike
SAC Recommendation #10.03.01A
SAC recommends up to $1000 for the Flight Team to travel to Iowa ($50 per person) for their regional competition.
Chair Pike - Since there is no provider right now, they may not be able to do it. They are aware that they are reaching their maximum cap of $1000 and they are aware that they would not be eligible for additional funding.
Senator Tung: Point of Information: Has MSU Flight Team been recognized by senate as an RSO?
Senator Pike: As far as I know, yes.
Speaker Noah: No they aren't. I don't see any reason to not go on this motion. They know it's contingent on them being recognized first.
Senator Deuser: Do you recommend that we approve this request, Senator Pike?
Senator Pike: Yes, it's a legitimate activity.
Interim Chair Muggli-We met today, discussed AFSCME and MAPE.
Speaker Noah: Each AFSCME and MAPE member contributes to MSU. A number of students support the unions. We need a resolution of what the senate wants to do. Speaker rules out of order.
Interim Chair Muggli: Some things we discussed is what they do for us. AFSCME does security, janitorial services. MAPE does tech services
Senator Peskorz: When and where is the next meeting?
Interim Chair Muggli: Wednesday, noon in senate chambers.
President White Owl: Have you set a type of agenda for Legislative Affairs type of stuff? I'm asking a blank question so you can get your motion in.
Interim Chair Muggli: We brainstormed today and talked about political apathy and how we can combat that. We have ideas.
Senator Klein: How has the strike affected you personally?
Senator Pike: Bathrooms are closed!
Senator Peterson: Where can you get the green unity pins?
Interim Chair Muggli: Talk to the workers striking.
Coordinator Gaffer: I've been trying to get buttons up here. They should be on top of the mail box.
Senator Mullin: Are you aware that no one can graduate from the university right now? Nobody is processing the applications right now.
Interim Chair Muggli: No
Committee Motion #10.03.01B Senator Muggli/Senator Dueser
Whereas: Each AFSCME and MAPE member contributes to the health, welfare, and safety of all Minnesota State University, Mankato students, faculty and administration
Whereas: A number of students of MSU support the efforts and issues of the striking workers
Be It Resolved: The MSSA Senate support the striking workers.
Senator Muggli: I think it's important for us to support the staff/workers that have worked so hard for us. They're doing this for a reason and it shows that the students are showing their support.
Senator Dueser: I think that it will be helpful to the striking workers that the students know about the issues and support them.
Motion passes Abstain Senator Casey
Off-Campus Senator James Tung
Cultural Diversity Committee-We're dealing with international students insurance policy which is mandatory for them to buy. Working on issues to get all cultural diversity groups to come together so we can be in better communication with each other and work side by side. Promoting the senate -- a girl came up from Student Events Team with a white board and seemed lost. She made a phone call and she didn't even know that she was in the senate office! It's upsetting and unreal. We have to get out there and talk to the students. I have talked to Union Board Chair Gaffer about putting up a senate sign because there is nowhere on the 1st floor that says where we are. I submit a motion to the speaker.
Committee Motion #10.03.01C Senator Tung/Senator Klein
Move that the Minnesota State Student Association Senate Office receive official signage throughout the Centennial Student Union where ever appropriate
Senator Radtke: Are there signs for us up anywhere?
Union Board Chair
Chair Gaffer- There were a few offices that were left off and we are one of them. It should be fixed in the next few months. I need to do a follow up. I will get an official response and present it at the next senate meeting.
Senator Pike: I think we should refer this to committee rather than make a vote. Senator Peskorz
Senator Tung: Which committee?
Senator Pike: Student Union Board
Senator Tung: Why is it that most of the Greeks have huge bulletin boards and we have a little one?
Senator Garrity: I move to add myself to the agenda for a report.
Senator Peskorz: I'd like to make the same motion.
Senator Peterson: I would also like to add myself.
Off-Campus Senator Dueser
Want to present information about the aviation problems to the senate. I think it is unfortunate that it took so long for this committee to get started. It should have began weeks ago when the aviation students came to us.
1. No student voice -- students came to us and said that they felt they had no voice in the contract negotiations. The aviation student that came to us said that his vote was absolved.
2. Bad/unethical contract -- aviation students said they've heard bad things about the contract. If this contract is bad, students should have something to say about it.
3. Administrative silence -- The aviation students said that the administration is not answering our questions. Evasive, won't return calls, won't see us, etc. We should take immediate action on this.
Threats/retaliation -- blacklisted from being a flight instructor, this is very important to aviation students. We haven't had the manpower to really address this but now that the committee is appointed perhaps we can meet with the Dean of the College of Education and the Vice President of Finance. They decide amongst the possible vendors who we prefer. We think the Dean has to answer to an Advisory Committee. This is an 8 person committee made up of the Dean, two business men, Vice President of Finance.
Coordinator Gaffer- Did you know that one of the business men worked for the city?
Senator Dueser: Yes. There were three faculty members and one student on the committee. The student believed he was a voting member of the committee.
First, the Vice President of Finance and the Dean of the College of Education puts out a request to see who wants to be considered as a vendor. People respond, they're invited to speak to the Advisory Committee. The Vice President of Finance wasn't there but others did hear the negotiations
They first voted for a company called Minst and Mueller. They pulled out because of concerns of renting space at the airport.
The committee met again and tried to decide on another vendor. Several people believed that there was a 4-4 tie. It was left to the administration to decide and they chose a vendor that the student did not want. The student felt that since the administration thought that his vote was not very strong, they just threw it out.
Some think this committee is not voting. The exact workings of this committee are not yet clear.
The companies involved;
The city of Mankato, they own the airport . Aviation vendor -- supply airplanes
The management company that owned the airport previously, was also the aviation vendor. So now they have to find a new vendor. Minst and Mueller did come out and try to negotiate space with the management company. The rumor is that the management company was very difficult and M&M felt that they could not do it. So they dropped out.
There is a man named Earl Cummings who acted as a representative for the management company and may have been involved in contract negotiations with the first aviation vendor. This man also represented the second aviation vendor that was chosen. Since he had an office at city hall, does this mean he's also working for the city? So is one person representing the management company, the vendor and the city? Where does this guy's responsibilities lay?
The flight team use to operate out of the airport and were not charged for this space. The rumor now is that with the new vendor, the flight team will have to rent space. If we're paying the aviation vendor so that they can rent space then why would our flight team also have to pay to rent space?
Now the aviation vendor, in addition to renting space, will have to pay the management company to help maintain their planes, and possibly their facilities?
It is not unknown for the senate to have members of the administration present information to them to understand what is going on.
Some of the people on the Advisory Committee were very excited about having an in-house airline provider, to have more control, cut out the middle man, use our own planes.
What makes them think that these contract negotiations are supposed to be confidential from us? They have told us that these meetings/voting might be confidential also. These votes don't involve details of an ongoing negotiation but I think they should tell us exactly why they think that.
One thing that we've been told about the threats/retaliation is that there will be an advisory committee to protect students from retaliation from Thunderbird. It's supposed to be a six person committee and four people on it are from Thunderbird.
They can explain how to justify going in their own direction instead of going through the Advisory Committee. If the Vice President of Finance was not on the committee and was not there to hear presentations, why should he have a vote? It's important to find out what this group is actually called. "Aviation Advisory Committee" "Selection Committee" etc.
What power does this committee have? What are their bylaws?
We have questions on how that second vote was made. It seems like there were two groups that voted separately. The faculty voted first, and then the business men voted separately. What kind of vote takes place after you divide the committee up and send them into separate places? What purpose did that serve?
We have other questions like if in fact the faculty voted one way and the business men voted the other way then what was the thought process of the administration when they decided to go with the business men and not with the faculty/students.
A timeline would be nice to have. Did this committee operate in a timely fashion?
This is important because the last contract ended Monday. Was there a record of the meetings? Were there minutes taken? Can we see them? If not, why not?
So was the student's voice absolved? We've heard that there was a 4-4 vote and that his vote was switched. The administration has a responsibility to inform the student body about certain details and it certainly falls upon the administration to tell them about this.
When the aviation students began to complain, they tried to tell the Vice President of Academic Affairs but they said they were not being heard.
So, we want to have the administration come explain to us etc. We want to make sure things like this won't happen again. We want to know details of the committee to decide the vendor.
I'm going to ask the administration to send somebody down and explain to us how the student voice was considered as a part of this decision. I've placed before the speaker a resolution to that effect.
Resolution #10.03.01 A Senator Dueser/Senator Pike
Whereas: The students of Minnesota State University, Mankato are concerned about the future of the Aviation Program, and
Whereas: Many rumors and accusations have been made about the contract negotiations between the University and the vendor for the Aviation Program and
Whereas: The MSSA is unclear as to the role students played in the selection of a vendor for the Aviation Program, therefore be it
Resolved: The MSSA requests the University President or President's designee provide information to the MSSA Senate on the timeline and process used to select the vendor for the Aviation Program, and be it further
Resolved: The MSSA requests the University President or President's designee provide information on how student involvement in this decision making process was ensured as outlined in Minnesota State Board Policy, and be it further
Resolved: The MSSA requests the University President provide this information within 10 business days of passage of this resolution, and be it further
Resolved: The MSSA acknowledges the delicate art of contract negotiation and requests information on the process and timeline used in selecting the potential vendor and the information requested does not include "contract details" at this time.
Senator Dueser: The purpose for this is so that the administration can come and talk to us about issues but not about contract negotiations. This is an ongoing investigation and there will be more resolutions in the future.
Senator Muggli: The way that resolution is written, does it allow the administration to NOT come and give us information in writing?
Senator Dueser: It does, but if they want to show their willingness to talk to us, they should come in and talk the senate. This is a start. We can pass a further resolution down the line asking for something else if we feel this is necessary.
Senator Casey: The question I have is, do we as the senate, or even as a student body, have the right to even question the decision making process of the school if it in fact was the school? The reason I'm asking that is because I believe, by the way that I've heard, the airport is basically property of the city of Mankato and the city of Mankato has contracted a company to run it. That management company has various contractors out there to run the airport. Now, is it a contract with the city and the aviation vendor to provide school services to anybody in the Mankato area? Now another question I have is, does the university have a contract with anyone to allow them to have a voice in the contracts regarding which vendor the city hires?
Senator Dueser: The vendor needs to secure a lease with the management company at the airport. The university chooses which vendor they want and that vendor tries to secure space at the airport.
Senator Casey: We may be overstepping what we should be asking. I believe that first, the airport has to have an aviation school vendor in place. Then, the university goes to the airport and seeks that vendor and looks at a contract with them. So I believe that we shouldn't raise an issue until an aviation vendor is in place.
Senator Dueser: So you're unclear on who the university enters the contract with. The only thing the university negotiates a contract with is the aviation vendor.
President White Owl: Is this a request for information? If it is, I believe the president of the university has addressed it. If you would refer back to the letter. Aren't we on the resolution and not the senator report?
Senator Dueser: I did read the letter from the president and did not feel that the letter answered all of the questions about the student voice. The president has indicated in the letter the willingness to answer further questions.
Senator Klein move to vote on the motion.
Senator Dueser: Thanks. I would be more than happy to answer questions at this time.
Senator Pike: Bad and unethical behavior. I think we need to address what students and faculty want. I've talked to aviation students and faculty. This is what they want: They want faculty involvement out there. They chose to come to MSU because they had the faculty involvement, we are a flight 61 school (you get more time in double engine planes -- commercial airlines want as much time as possible in these planes), costs are low.
We talked to Joann Brandt, Interim Dean of the College of Education, last week and she answered many questions. As of yesterday I have seen the contract and I am ….
Senator Peskorz moves to suspend the rules for the time limit for senator reports.
Senator Pike: The reason we're doing this is so that all the senators can be informed so that any students can talk to you about this. This may be in the senate for a long time. Students have been neglected, etc... I have seen the contract and can discuss what I've seen, how I've been lied to.
All of the students who want to be hired as instructors, 98% can get hired. Joann Brandt said that 51% will be hired. Thunderbird runs an instructor program up in the cities and they could hire their own instructors not from our students.
We questioned Joann Brandt about not being involved in the airport. We are trying to get a certification that St Cloud has. Faculty would be involved at the airport and have control out there over grading, etc. With this contract, Thunderbird would have control for testing. Faculty would be totally cut out.
The biggest thing of all is the procedure. They sent out a request for proposal. They requested a three year contract. Minst and Mueller said that a five year contract would be easier to deal with. They changed the contract without sending out another request for proposal. We asked Joann Brandt flat out if it is still a three year contract and she said that yes it was a three year contract. I've seen the contract as of 9/13 and four days ago for sure, it is a five year contract. They changed the length on it. If you ask me this contract should be null because they changed the rules in the middle of the game.
Joann Brandt said that the 61 school would not be changed. The contract says that the vendor can provide a part 141 school or a part 61 school. Currently Thunderbird runs a part 141 school. So the students could be losing probably the most valuable part.
Rick and I were lied to by a Dean. They should be held to the highest ethical standards.
Senator Muggli: Do you believe that there are secondary issues for aviation students wanting a vendor right away so they can fly now?
Senator Pike: Older aviation students want Thunderbird out there now because they just want to get out and fly. Younger students disagree because the costs are going to be skyrocketing and the program will not have any of the advantages that it did before.
Senator Muggli: Is it correct that this contract is not signed so that all of this may be fixed?
Senator Pike: That is true from what I hear. I cannot guarantee.
Senator Peskorz: Does this new senate committee have a deadline?
Senator Austad: In your opinion, what do you think the Dean has to gain by lying to you?
Senator Pike: She's been the Dean for quite some time, it's very well possible that she's running to be a permanent Dean. She wants to get this hushed. I think she realizes that she messed up. It's not only going on between us and the administration but also the faculty and the administration.
Senator Tung: So what would you like to see done?
Senator Pike: I would like to see Joann Brandt answer the questions I have presented here. Students deserve to know why we were misled. I think Charles Anderson should be brought in here too (the VP of Finance). There are questionable acts between him and Earl Cummings.
Senator Garrity Report
The past two days I've been at a college fair in the cities. I think it's important for us as senators to get involved with things like this. There are lots of opportunities to get involved with students. Get the word out about senate and what's going on. New people should get involved from the beginning. If you're interested in giving tours, talk to me.
Senator Peskorz Report
Since it seems that everyone is going to get more involved, I loved some of Senator's Pike's ideas last week. I'd like to get people's contact information.
Crawford Senator Peterson
As Crawford's senator, I've wanted to get more residents involved. But they already have been! I've been working with the RHA liaison. Crawford has the highest attendance. Jumanji showing.
Speaker Noah: As your executive officer, I encourage all of you to communicate openly with the executive staff. If you see a problem, I would be willing to help you out with that. I do like to see an ad-hoc committee made up of senate, I encourage you to participate in the exec's with this. I would like to see any questions you might have posed to me or senior senators, this creates open communication and less perceived barriers.
Senator Muggli: Can the lip sync team meet after this? Also, can a few of us stay and clean up this area afterward?
Senator Radtke: The observatory is still open from 8-11 from Monday - Thursday. I want to thank all of the senators for sticking around.
Senator Garrity: My 21st birthday is 3 weeks from Thursday. I'll remind you more
Senator Klein: Sunday, Oct 14th, the Athletics Dept is having Midnight Madness for the basketball team and it's an opportunity for us to get out there too.
Senator Dueser: I think it would be nice to get a card for people to sign for Cheri.
Speaker Noah: It's my birthday this weekend and you're all invited. TGI Friday's at 7pm and then we'll be going over to a house party.
Byron Pike, Rachael Horne, Richard Dueser, Jayson Read, Katie Garrity, Dan Peskorz, Ryan Austad, Stephanie White, Ashley Guetter, Omni Peterson, Adam Poole, Jason Casey, Monica Klein, Ian Radtke, James Tung, Cassandra Linkenmeyer
Daniela Rumpf, Beenish Malhi-excused, Andrew Menden, Matt Osmondson, Brian Mullin, Parrish Jones, Jacob Helgeson, Mikel Akers, Stacy Wiech, Zach Biesanz
Executive Staff Absent
President Roger White Owl, Vice President Uzair Shaffi
Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 7:52pm