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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address:

Meeting called order by Speaker Zach Biesanz

Roll Call

Senators Present

Jessica Cichy 11-0-0, Abbas Raza 7-3-1, Muhammad Jiwani 8-2-0, Ryan Deimerly 15-0-0-2, Irfan Bangash 16-0-1, Sudeep Shrestha 7-3-1, Greg Lessard 15-2-0, Bryan Hart 15-0-1-1, Nathan Entinger 11-0-0, Kail Decker 11-0-0, Megan Brandt 16-0-1, Ian Radtke 16-1-0, Rachel Mudd 16-1-0

Senators Absent Faizan M. Khan 16-1-0, Abuzar Iqbal 8-3-0,

Executive Staff Absent

President Rhys Gaffer

Vice President Shahzad Anwer

Student Forum

Jon Zetzman, Legislative Affairs Chair-MSU has requested $2.5 million for Trafton renovation; this was not on the Governor’s bonding recommendation today. State revenue is down; the shortfall will be about $100 million.

MSSA Legislative Affairs Committee had previously voted to not attend MSUSA Lobby Day- today Legislative Affairs voted to attend the MSUSA Lobby Day.

Representative Karla Nelson has sponsored Bill 135A.157, this bill recommends taking financial aid from students involved in riots. The Legislative Affairs Committee recommends that Senate support this bill.

President Gaffer-Regarding bonding project that was not approved-that was for design only right?

Jon Zetzman-Design and beginning stages of renovation. Governor also recommended that this not be

revisited until 2010.

Vice President Anwer-is this Representative Nelson bill like the same that was proposed earlier or is this different?

Andrew Bushard-Today just like every month I have been fasting for a particular cause. I have been fasting for Mumia Abu-Jamal. He was shot by a cop who beating his brother with a metal flashlight. He was beaten by more cops arriving at the scene. He was denied the right to defend himself at his trial, and was barred from the courtroom when he protested. He was a member of the Black Panther Party-he focused on police brutality. He represented voices that were not otherwise represented. In 1981 he was accused of shooting a police officer and sentenced to death. What are the ramifications, it was a dubious trial. There was the bullet evidence; here was question that that matched the gun, also the issue of witnesses being coerced for favors from police. One prostitute that had past arrests was told if she testified they would take care of her legal problems. A police officer wrote in his book that he confessed, but the jury never saw a police report. He made no statements-yet it was said he did say he shot the police officer. A police officer might be biased in the trial of a police officer. I encourage you to investigate what happened, and the issue of the death penalty. This has many problems too many to innumerate. I encourage you to put forth legislation that Mumia get a fair trail.

Senator Lessard-I have been aware of this, has he gone through all the appeals?

Andrew Bushard-there are so many appeal processes, he has been denied some.

Senator Deimerly-Where did this take place?

Andrews Bushard-In Philadelphia, they were trying to get blacks off the jury.

Approval of Agenda Minutes stand approved after removal of Jon Zetzman from Committee reports and change of Committee Reports to Coordinator Reports with the following reports:.

Technology-Adam Weigold, Academic/Cultural Diversity-Jennifer Jacobs, Public Relations-Vicki Verhelst. Senator Reports-Kail Decker-Off Campus

Sam Edmunds, MSUSA State Chair

I travel to campuses in the state and see how MSUSA can help senate offices. The state wide student association is governed by the Board of Directors. MSUSA is also governed by delegate assembly that meets once a year-this is an appropriate representation, they set budget, platform, changes to Articles of Operation. MSUSA also has committees that deal with Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Women’s Caucus. Some of the people involved are elected by the Bd of Directors. The State Chair appoints 7 coordinators, they receive a stipend and they chair committees. We also have a full time staff of 6.5. Executive Director, office manager, web, development, communications coordinator. We work on two scholarship programs that all Minnesota State students can apply for. The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program is for minority students from a labor background.

We publish the Monitor-we encourage students to give input and write articles. We conduct a fall conference for training; we have a media conference and a new cultural diversity conference. The conference will be held in Mankato this weekend, there will be a whole day of lobby training, so students can learn how to lobby. They will receive grass roots training. Along with that we will have a regular board meeting. This legislative session MSUSA is focused on the bonding bill, this looked good for Minnesota State but not Mankato. We hope they will add MSU’s project. This year the governor recommended $165 million for Minnesota State. We advocate for funding for Minnesota State and financial aid. There is a budget deficit so they could always take money away. One big issue has been making student fees optional, this would be devastating, we will fight that this does not happen. Regarding the Representative Nelson bill on celebratory riots, MSUSA feels students should not be punished more than a regular student. Legislators are also looking at closing campuses; we are following that and also the issue of St. Cloud opting out of MSUSA.

President Gaffer-Do you have any update on the law suit at the U of M regarding fees and what

impact that would have for Minnesota State?

Sam Edmunds-I will check on this, a few years ago WI had this same law suit and the judge ruled that

the fees could be used for these offices.

Senator Deimerly-What are the best ways to contact you?

Sam Edmunds-Web site.

Senator Radtke-What is MSUSA’s position on the Higher Ed Act?

Sam Edmunds-In Washington DC we advocate for similar issues but on a national level.

Representative McKennan has a proposal that would penalize students by taking away financial aid. There are many proposals; also there is a debate on raising loan limits. National groups are saying, don’t raise loan limits.

Senator Radtke-Does MSUSA support loss of financial aid for drug offenses?

Sam-Yes we support this if the student is receiving financial aid when they incur the offense.

Senator Lessard-How much feedback how you gotten?

Sam Edmunds-It is taking a long time, we get support from the Democrats, and we are encouraged that one of the two proposals will pass this year.

President Gaffer-Could you give us an update on the St. Cloud referendum.

Sam Edmunds-Recommendation from Executive Council-passed a vote of no confidence on MSUSA.

and recommending a pull out of MSUSA. This is not as simple as it sounds, this is in state statue.

The background is because St. Cloud pays the most in student fees, $150,000. They would prefer to hire their own lobbyist, and they would like to see changes in MSUSA. MSUSA passed a resolution to support St. Cloud in improving MSUSA but not in efforts of pulling out.

Senator Hart-How active is MSUSA in lobbying on the state level?

Sam-This is probably the biggest thing MSUSA does. We have two full time people working on a daily basis at the capitol. This is the biggest focus during the legislative session.

Lobby Day or rally will be smaller this year; we will focus on small group visits and talking one on one to legislators.

Approval of Minutes (12-03-03) Minutes stand approved

Officer Reports

President Rhys Gaffer

The first thing I would like senate to consider is a letter of proclamation for State Workers, this would

be nice for us to issue this and show them our appreciation for all they do around here.

Appointments-David Shaughnessy-Union Board, Dean’s Extended Search Committee-Nicole Schultz

CSU renovation-Henry Morris was not able to be here today, he will be here next week. The situation

as it stands is that the state inspector has pushed the time line back. We do not know what the final

bids are but they ranged from $8-9.2 million. If you have opinions please talk to Union Board members, Adam Weigold is the vice chair.

SAPS –I attended the meetings that the task force put together. I will meet with Dean Trauger

tomorrow. Minnesota State Board of trustees will be talking about this in January.

The Civil Disobedience Task Force will meet tomorrow-co chairs, Interim VP Solinger and

Henry Morris-I will get information to you on the strategies of other campuses.

The Red Eye Shuttle – looking for support for the night time utilization. As for a supplemental

budget request-we generated a $20 pass for the students that live on the UZone. There is some

change to the prior service. Semester pass sales have begun.

I am sure you all know that Diane Solinger has been named Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Mike Hodapp has been named MSSA liaison.

Shahzad and I met with Sandra Loertz and other representatives, release of information form adds

Another module. Currently if you sign this you can check who gets this information, what they want is that other offices can not give out information. They want the registrar to have data privacy


We are down in senate numbers; we are now advertising in the Reporter for vacant seats, we are also having recruitment for Elections Committee.

We have a student technology committee that works closely with Vice President Johnson this committee works on the tech fee, we need to understand what is going on. Our technology coordinator Adam Weigold knows a lot about what is going on, as does Senator Radtke. It is important that we stay on top of that. If you are interested or know of someone in your college, please encourage them to contact us about Student Technology Roundtable. We also need student representation on Parking Appeals, On-campus representation on Parking Advisory, and Union Board.

MSUSA Conference this weekend. St. Cloud and MSU are half of the budget for MSUSA,

We need to acknowledge that but it would be a travesty if they were dissolved. If you have

thoughts or feelings you have until Friday to voice them. Talk to your delegates they represent your

school. We also need to work with Legislative Affairs and start a letter writing campaign.

We will begin MSSA’s action plan for the upcoming legislative session Please fill out what hours you will be available I the office, if you are interested in going on a lobby trip to the State Capital or would like to be part of the “email advocacy brigade” that gets together for weekly letter-writing campaigns in our office.

Student Services Coordinator and Legislative Affairs Coordinator positions are open, I would

like to appoint these positions next week. National Lobby trip to Washington DC, I would like to open that up to a pool of applicants that would like to attend. The trip is March 5-10. Deadline is Thursday, January 22. We need to give other people opportunities. Write up why you would like to go and advocate. Last thing-I have a class at 6:00 P.M. on Wed. I will need to leave the meeting at 5:50 P.M. My apologies to the Senate. As much as I would like to be here, I must be present at class.

Do we want to move the date of Senate from Wednesday?

Senator Decker-What became of Malcolm?

President Gaffer-He has been assigned to the interim Director of Career Development.

Vice President Anwer-Are you sure Tuesday is a light night for classes?

President Gaffer-Yes, other senates do meet at 9:00 P.M. or in the morning, let’s give it some thought.

Let’s figure out new recruiting strategies.

Vice President Shahzad Anwer

Welcome back. Information release form-the biggest reason they are pushing for change is because

there was misconception for people filling hem out. To get all information you had to fill out three

forms-for example if you filled it out in the registrar it meant you could only get grades.

Once issue brought up with Vice President Olson-students are really being hurt because they can not get into all the classes they need-talk to your Dean’s about this or have Vice President Olson talk to the Deans. I have been in contact with MSUSA about graduate students only working 14 hours per week. Graduate students can only work 14 hours even in the summer compared to undergrads that can work 20. Please fill out your schedules; we really need to get Elections Committee going.

Speaker Zach Biesanz

I want to address the executive orders sent to you during the break. One was sent too early, it is

my job to be picky. The second executive orders were right on. Welcome new coordinators.

Coordinator Reports

Technology Coordinator Adam Weigold-I previously worked with a microfilm company, I set up the data net work, emergency records and various other things. I also owned my own business

Where I built computers. During break I read MSSA policies and minutes. I contacted Jessica Boyd,

past Web Master. I have helped with problems in the office. I will also be watching fees.

As Technology Coordinator I will look at what the students need.

Academic Affairs/Cultural Diversity Coordinator Jennifer Jacobs. I am open to helping and working on anything for Academic Affairs. My background is in Cultural Diversity and I will be working with the Ensuring Cultural Diversity Committee.

Public Relations Coordinator Vicki Verhelst-I am a junior in Mass Communications, I will be working on promotional things to get committees filled. Let me know if I can help you with your

Pr needs.

Senator Reports

Senator Decker-I have a class from 3-4. Break was ok. I worked. I will be performing

at Pakistani Night Saturday night in the Ball room.

The Riot Bill as I understand it does not match my ideas. But I support it because it does give a plausible remedy to a rare situation and relies on the legal system to make judgment.

I am working on an alternative to the current idea of book rental.

President Gaffer-Is there a particular model you are looking at-like a Coop.

Senator Decker-A certain group in the school will not like my idea.


President Gaffer-We do have the Records Management System up and running in our office so you

will be seeing a grad student in our office helping with MSSA records management and retention projects.

Senator Bangash-Pakistan Night Saturday in the ballroom.

Senator Cichy-Go MSU Hockey

Senator Hart-Swing dancing for $3.00 on Tuesday, check it out.

Roll Call

Senators Present

Jessica Cichy, Ryan Deimerly, Abbas Raza, Muhammad Jiwani, Nicole Schultz, Irfan Bangash , Sudeep Shrestha, Greg Lessard, Bryan Hart, Nathan Entinger, Kail Decker, Megan Brandt, Ian Radtke, Rachel Mudd

Senators Absent

Faizan Khan, Abuzar Iqbal

Executive Staff Present

President Rhys Gaffer, Vice President Shahzad Anwer

Adjournment Meeting adjourned 5:35 P.M.