MinutesPage address: https://www.mnsu.edu/mssa/docs/minutes_years/minutes/2003-2004/10-01-2003.html
71st MSSA Senate
October 1, 2003
Meeting called order by Speaker Zach Biesanz
Jessica Cichy 2-0-0, Abbas Raza 7-1-0, , Rebecca Klatt 2-0-0, Ermira Babamusta 2-0-0, Kristy Anderson 2-0-0, Sudeep Shrestha 2-0-0, Eric Hill 2-0-0, Joshua Brown 2-0-0, Nathan Ettinger 2-0-0, Abuzar Iqbal 2-0-0, Kail Decker 1-0-0, Beth Paulson-proxy Goga Copic 1-0-1, Hannah Gehrke 7-1-0, Jessica Boyd 8-0-0, Irfan Bangash 8-0-0, Greg Lessard 8-0-0, Bryan Hart 8-0-0, Faizan M. Khan 8-0-0, Jocelyn Crist-proxy Jesse Rorvig 7-0-1, Megan Brandt 7-0-1, Ian Radtke 7-1-0, Rachel Mudd 8-0-0, Muhammad Sohail Rauf 8-0-0
Ryan Deimerly 7-1-0, Imran M. Hussein 7-1-0, Santiago Vallejo 1-1-0
Executive Staff Present
President Rhys Gaffer, Vice President Shahzad Anwer
Presentation-Athletic Director Kevin Buisman
I wanted to visit the Student Association today on the recent action taken by the Athletic Department on the packaging of the hockey tickets, the decision, and the process and if there was student consultation. We value the senate and although they have not taken action; we want to be proactive and answer questions regarding the decision and jointly determine where we go from here on this decision.
Every one is aware of the budget challenges faced by departments. Students were faced with that as well with tuition increases. Tuition increase affected them as well. That coupled with budget crunches forced them into a situation where they had to consider different scenarios last spring-such as elimination of men’s, golf, swimming & tennis. Many things were moving targets into the summer. Late in the summer and after deliberation from the President they decided to keep the men’s sports teams around for another year to see the future viability. But then the question was, where do we go for future sources of revenue? During budget process and with discussion with student groups there seemed to be some questioning of charging students for hockey season tickets. If the discussion was only a one time discussion, I would have ignored that-they would rather not charge for athletic events-student involvement is paramount for what they do, athletics thrive on that. Last spring we said we did not want to charge but we got to the point in early summer as the budget realities began to take hold, that we were going to be challenged to create new sources of revenue. After discussion with President Davenport and Dean Trauger and President Gaffer-President Gaffer said that if it came up more then once it deserved further dialogue. At the time Rhys said-perhaps at this time we need to look at creative sources; We didn’t want to further incur expenses on students. We needed to look at localized support rather than come back year after year and ask for increases. After discussions they decided to go ahead and charge for a limited number of hockey tickets. This was put off way into the summer and as they weighed the pros and cons of charging, they felt this was a compromise. A number of tickets still would be offered on prepaid admission. Only a limited number would be in the package. We know some of these concerns have come to this body. The underlying question is was there student consultation? Both Rhys and I agree that we should have looked at additional elements regarding protocol of this action. The process might have been approved upon-this is a new concept-and you may not have been impacted, others are concerned and want you to look at remedial steps for the future. This is my reason for being here today.
Senator Brown-Thank you for coming in today-If the packages are all purchased will there be individual tickets available for specific games?
Director Buisman -Buying ticket in advance-are there other options? The opportunity to purchase individual tickets will begin very soon. The six games will be available subject to availability. There is no individual price for the Gopher game if you purchase the package, if not the individual price is $22.00. If students are planning to attend the $42.00 is the best buy. If they don’t want to attend all games you do have the option of purchasing individual tickets. The prices will be $22 for the Gophers $8 for Duluth, and $8 for UND
Vice President Anwer-My question is through what you have explained, it seems there was a long discussion with President Davenport and your staff. How long did this process take?
Director Buisman-When school ended there were many unknowns, like 15% tuition increase-the decision about the participation of the Golf, Swimming & Tennis was reached during finals week. My discussions
were not held until mid to late June with President Gaffer. These discussions did not occur until after the school year, this did compromise the consultation process. Consultation was limited to Rhys-these directions came from Vice President Trauger and President Davenport. This was not an attempt to be manipulative. There was just a lot of budget unknowns. This became clear in late summer. We could not wait until fall for discussion because with the start of hockey in Oct. we needed to begin marketing efforts. A mailing was sent to all students in August.
Senator Paulson-Proxy Copic-How many tickets have been actually sold?
Director Buisman-I have heard around 700. I don’t know if that is an overwhelming endorsement, I guess you need to listen to students. I respond to the emails I have received, I have only received two emails, I forwarded them to Dr. Davenport and President Gaffer. One student has come into the office. I don’t know if this is relative to the popularity. Considering marketing started late, this 700 + seems to be a fair number, a pretty good response.
Senator Lessard-Do other Minnesota State fans have to pay for tickets when they come to our hockey games?
Senator Lessard-If I went to Mariachi Arena, how much would I have to pay?
Director Buisman-I believe it is $28.00.
Senator Mudd-What were the other options your department looked at before deciding to raise ticket prices?
Director Buisman-I have tried to address the budget situation, we either reduce exposes or increase revenue. We have done everything we can to contain costs in all other areas. We are under funded in all areas including operations and scholarships compared to all other schools with DI Hockey. We have taken actions in other areas. We have raised prices on dasher boards, advertising, general ticket prices, season tickets, significant efforts to increase revenue. We have tried to increase concession revenue by hiring Chartwells.
President Gaffer-The question I have for you is can you track who is buying these tickets-Freshman etc.
Director Buisman-We are working with the controller office that will be able to give us these demographics, like gender, demand etc. I don’t know where we are with these efforts. We want that information as well and certainly will share that information when we get it.
Senator Brown-How many tickets were available?
Director Buisman-1,100 in the package. If there was an over whelming demand-we would have looked at making more available.
Senator Brown-Will there be a way of getting no show tickets?
Director Buisman-If someone purchased tickets and does not show up-we would have to look at that. There could be a rush seating like they have at the U of M-we could look at that as a model.
Senator Decker-I can foresee this might be the way to go but what do you think will happen to the participation if you continue this?
Director Buisman-What we had last year was magical-we don’t want to impact that with our hockey team, and fans. That was partially what was behind not offering all the games in the season ticket package. We felt some students would buy the package to get the best tickets for certain games. We were concerned about cheating students out of seats because someone had already purchased the seats. I don’t think there is interest in other sports to charge. With your endorsement we want to offer tickets in a package. I pledge to you that with this revenue generated it will alleviate some budget issues we have. We are not compromising the student body. I am here to ask forgiveness in maybe the approach-and here to discuss the future. I pledge to you that we will not be doing this in other sports.
President Gaffer-In regards to emails –refresh me on what DII schools you benchmarked?
Director Buisman-Minnesota Duluth, our situation is different than say St. Cloud. They have an on campus arena, they are able to generate revenue from other events, parking, concessions etc. I won’t dismiss similarities – but to a certain extent in hockey you are looking at apples and oranges. There are some that do not charge. Duluth, Wisconsin-are higher than here.
Senator Boyd-What would you do if students did not support this?
Director Buisman-I guess we would have to consider this-if immediate action was taken they would have to look at different actions.
Senator Khan- Will you be doing this at basketball and football games?
Director Buisman-No-I think I came here to build trust-I know I said I did not want to charge for hockey tickets, but this was after agonizing deliberation. Put your faith and trust in me, if you would endorse this limited charging of hockey, we could reach some agreement. The pre-paid admission policy does need to be revisited it is over 11 years old, when prepaid admission was put in place we were not in the civic center. This policy needs to be revisited or revised and updated.
Senator Brown-How will this money get used?
Director Buisman-In spite of our budget that is program specific-we ask all programs to hold the line and operate within the budget. In case of the hockey revenue we would like to invest it into the hockey program. Also considering the programs we were looking at cutting-their operations budget is around $50,000This will help maintain student opportunity.
Senator Brown-How was the price decided?
Director Buisman-The idea came after looking at market and what was affordable. The initial logic was that if you walked up and purchased an individual ticket it was $8.00-$7.00 was $1.00 less. This is a $15.00 discount on the Gopher game. We wanted some logic where we would discount off the ticket price by $1.00.
Joe Muggli- I would like to talk to you about what Director Buisman said. Most students don’t look at the information they receive in the mail, when students care about this will be January 15, when they find out they can’t go because there are not tickets available. This package allows only 1,100 students to attend, without the package thousands of students could attend. We pay close to 1/3 of our fees to go to these
athletic games. The reason they don’t charge to go to games is because students would not go.
I am asking you guys to get mad, we already paid, I already paid $200.00 Now it is $242.00 and I
also want to know about the demographics-is it Freshman that did not know about prepaid admission. Is it male is it female, would a male be more likely to put that $42 dollars down? Also, I think they
nailed a rookie and I think it was unfair. I think they had this idea-there was not a lot of
student consultation. The student body president is not the student body. Contacting him
a couple times is not consultation. They should have had this dialogue last spring. This is one
of the worst things I have seen regarding student consultation.
Also you guys as senate, you can approve appointments-I am concerned about SAC, last year the senate
appointed 9 people, I feel they should have a veteran staff. I encourage you to look at appointments
and table if you are not sure about the appointments. Make a good decision. Don’t vote
if you do not understand things.
Senator Decker-If we do not approve of this decision from athletics, what would the solution be?
Joseph Muggli-that is a tough issue because people have already put down there money.
Senator Brandt-If you were a senator now what would you do about it?
Joseph Muggli-I would come up with a motion saying how upset we are. They ultimately have the power but we can let them know how we feel.
Senator Boyd-Do you have ideas on what you think they should do?
Joseph Muggli-I think they should charge for all games and give us our money back. But they don’t
do that because this is a stable income for them. Is there a better alternative than charging students?
Yes maybe raise the prices of other tickets, the community can pay more.
Goga Copic-I also want to talk about this, before you do anything, you do have power, we can make
recommendations, and we should start holding people accountable. Last year we gave athletics
over $900,000 now it will be over $42,000 more. Where is that revenue going? Who is buying those
tickets? I worked for Orientation-Freshman were buying them right at orientation. Wisconsin uses their student fees a little differently.
Vice President Anwer-Can you mention when the first Orientation was?
Goga Copic-Beginning of June.
Speaker-I don’t feel it is appropriate for senators to speak in student Forum. I will rule on this next week.
Approval of Minutes (9-24-03) Minutes stand approved.
Speaker-At this time we will remove from table the appointment of Muhammad Juwani,
President Gaffer- SAC Appointment-The Student Allocation Committee will still have three positions open after this appointment.
Senator Boyd-Why was this tabled?
Speaker-there is nothing explaining why in the minutes. No justification for tabling.
President Rhys Gaffer
Attended University Budget Sub meet and Confer-the Enrollment Management aspect begins with basic ideas of how they want to accomplish enrollment goals. Overall I understood the plan calls for the
university looking at increasing enrollment of undergraduate students and support for Off-Campus
students (distance learning). We need students on Enrollment Management task forces. These
task forces are a place where we can give input on how things affect us as students.
I also worked on land management with Sean McGoldrick and other faculty-what are we doing
for green space-tree component, insuring tree diversity, and that the soil is adequate. I am looking
for this body to look at that and formalize a position to encourage the university to consider green space.
Dave Bullock-Academic Affairs Coordinator
Academic Affairs-Emira Babamusta, Muhammad Jiwani, Eric Hill, Kristen Anderson, Jessica Cichy,
Student Affairs-Joshua Brown, Kail Decker, Abuzar Iqbal, Santiago Vallego, Nathan Ettinger, Beth Paulson
Student Union Board-Joel Jensen, Kim Van Dyke
MSSA Budget Committee-Santiago Vallejo, Rebecca Klatt
Legislative Affairs-Emira Babausta, Eric Hall, Irfan Bangash,
Elections Committee-Abbas Raza
Steering Committee-Rachel Mudd, Joe Finn
Student Technology Roundtable-Muhammad Sohail Rauf, Derrick Manland
Senator Boyd-Do you know when the flyers were sent out that Mr. Buisman was talking about?
President Gaffer-I believe it was August.
Senator Ettinger-What is your take on this athletic situation-do you have a recommendation?
President Gaffer-If you are understanding from your constituents that there are concerns, then there
are opportunities for a forum to reflect on the past action. The consultation process was not completed.
If you needed more information from him-or wait and see and then come up with a proper resolution, that is your choice. You are in a tough situation, as am I. You need to receive the information and you then take the action you feel is appropriate. I recognize that it is your right to weigh in on this. I will assist however I can to resolve this.
Senator Decker-With a $20 saving, will the Athletic Department actually make more than if they sold
President Gaffer-It seems it was to raise additional revenue. If they wanted a certain premium package,
I don’t know.
Senator Brown-What is your take on the Gun Law?
President Gaffer-I think we were left out of the mix by the Legislators. I hope we have opportunity to
talk with them this year. I hope this body will make decisions on this, and help resolve or look at concerns.
Vice President Shahzad Anwer
I was not planning on being here. We are thinking of having a retreat this year. We want to take all
of you to a place where we can get to know each other and will be all working together. You will have to
make very important decisions this year, you need to know how things work. We also want to plan for the year. We don’t know when this will happen.
Sweatshirts-A few senators felt they were expensive-if we cut the names off the back it would cut the cost.
After hearing Kevin Buisman-I would like to talk to him. If you want to come along, let me know.
Senator Khan-How much do the senators cost with the name on the back?
Vice President Anwer-$23.50
Senator Raza-Can you pay more if you want your name on the back?
Senator Anderson-In regards to hockey-I know that years ago there was an advisory board that met
about this. Did that go by the wayside?
Vice President Anwer-I know that consultation did not happen, orientation started the first week of
June, if he came to Rhys in late June they were not planning to talk to us. They had flyers out by
Senator Jiwani-Can you have a different style for your sweatshirt?
Vice President Anwer-For the entire body-yes.
Senator Boyd-Would you put something in the office on the design?
Senator Anderson-Downstairs there are Graphic Designers-could we consult them?
Vice President Anwer-If you have an idea let me know. The company can design it for us.
Speaker Zach Biesanz
Recognized Student Organizations
Ultimate Frisbee Organization, Apostolics called to Serve
ACS Chemistry Club, Alpha Phi Omega Nu Pi Chapter, Alpha Phi Sigma, MSU Chess Club, Chi Alpha Campus Ministry, Exposed Photography Club, Federation Without Television, French Club, International Business Organization IBO, Lambda Chi Alpha, Mankato Area Unix, Maranatha Christian Fellowship, Mass Comm Club, MSU Men’s Soccer Club, Men’s Club Volleyball, Mudworks, Phi Delta Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Sexuality and Gender Equality (SAGE). Shotokan Karate Club, St. Thomas Newman Center, Student Association of India, Students of SURSI
Senator Radtke-Point of Information, was not Circle K approved at the 9/17 meeting.?
Correspondence-Diane Solinger, Interim Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs
President Davenport reviewed the resolution recommending a supplemental allocation to Student Health Services for $13,350 to reflect their requested budget and the cap increase. The funding would be allocated from the Student Activity Fee reserve fund. The President approves this resolution.
Senator Neinan has resigned.
New senators-next week after the meeting we will be doing a parliamentary procedure orientation.
This is mandatory.
Update your Web site profiles
Regarding Hockey issue-I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you how you can. You can call for a caucus and then work on wording and then work toward a motion. Or you can do it through committee-that is the most appropriate procedure in order to get the proper wording. Where was the SAAC during this process?
Student Muggli -what can we do now? We don’t need to stand ideally by, we could strongly say we want a freeze on selling tickets to give the student body time. I don’t think I got anything in my mail about
this sale of tickets. You should research this and see who got this, and who knows about this.
Nametags-pay Cheri ASAP. No senator reports today-remind you that you are required 3 reports
during a semester, if you do not do that we can vacate your seat.
We have had amazing cooperation from SLD&SL this year, each Monday they bring the
recognitions to me.
Senator Boyd-Isn’t that SAAC the athletes board?
Speaker-Yes, but it seems they did not even talk to them.
Senator Jiwani-How often are our recommendations not accepted?
Speaker-Generally the Student Senate serves two main roles, one is to be a voice between the students and administration. It is up to us representing constituencies to find out what is going on with students and what they want to say to the administration, we pass recommendations largely. We let the administration know how students feel and we deal with the $3 million dollar allocation budget. Everything is subject
to approval from President Davenport. He seems to support us and take us seriously.
President Gaffer-Inauguration Friday, meet in Myers Field house, wear business formal
Vice President Anwer-If you want to draw up a resolution regarding hockey tickets you can post it, and we will approve it next week.
Jessica Cichy, Abbas Raza, Muhammad Jiwani, Hannah Gehrke, Rebecca Klatt, Emira Babamust, Kristy Anderson, Jessica Boyd, Irfan Bangash, Sudeep Shrestha, Greg Lessard, Eric Hill, Bryan Hart, Dan Poquette, Faizan Khan, Jocelyn Crist-proxy Jesse Rorvig, Joshua Brown , Nathan Ettinger, Abuzar Iqbal, Kail Decker, Megan Brandt, Ian Radtke, Rachel Mudd, Muhammad Sohail Rauf
Ryan Deimerly (excused) Imran Hussein, Santiago Vallego
Adjournment 6: 04 PM