shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address:

71st MSSA Senate

November 12, 2003

Meeting called order by Speaker Zach Biesanz

Roll Call (Present-Absent-Proxy-Excused)

Senators Present

Jessica Cichy 8-0-0, Ryan Deimerly 12-0-0-2, Abbas Raza 5-2-1, Jessica Boyd 14-0-0, Irfan Bangash 14-0-0, Sudeep Shrestha 4-3-1, Eric Hill 8-0-0, Bryan Hart 12-0-1-1, Imran M. Hussein 11-3-0, Faizan M. Khan 13-0-0, Jocelyn Crist 12-1-1 Joshua Brown 8-0-0, Nathan Entinger 8-0-0, Kail Decker 8-0-0, Megan Brandt 13-0-1, Ian Radtke 13-1-0, Rachel Mudd 14-0-0, , Beth Paulson-7-0-1, Abuzar Iqbal 7-1-0 Muhammad Jiwani 5-2-0, Greg Lessard 12-2-0,

Senators Absent

Muhammad Sohail Rauf 10-4-0

Executive Staff Present

President Rhys Gaffer, Vice President Shahzad Anwer

Presentation-Mikal Christian, RHA Chair

Room and Board rates-President Gaffer, Director Janney and I discussed the planning of the student consultation process for room and board rates. November 17 at 4:00 PM. we will have the second presentation of the resident hall rates. This will mostly be a time of questions and answers, when all the questions are answered a vote will be held, a letter will then be sent to President Gaffer on the 18th with the final recommendation. Senate will vote the following Wednesday, November 19th.

Henry Morris, Director Student Union-05 Union Budget Proposal

Union Board met today regarding the Union budget. This consultation process is held the same as the

Residential Life process. The Office of the Chancellor has requested this recommendation by December 1, 2003. The bottom line is that we are asking for 5% less than last year. We promised in 1998 that our budget would level off. We had sizeable increases at that time, much of which was mandated by Minnesota State. Each university develops a plan to reduce deferred maintenance within ten years. Each university also establishes an ongoing Repair and Replacement Program. The Centennial Student Union was approved for bonding in the amount of $8,650,000. During FY’05 the renovation projects will be completed. Based on a projection of $308,456 credit hours generated during the 2005 academic year, the facility fee assessment would be $10.20 (-.05). This budget is based on Stompers opening in August. There is a good chance that not all of Stompers will be open by August. 1. We would like it all open but it appears it may not. Anticipating that the budget will be balanced. The largest commission will be from Chartwells. Bookstore rental will be going down as they will have less space. The Union is limited on what they can charge the University for rental.

Senator Boyd-Do you anticipate this amount of funding to be adequate even if the Union does not open on time?

Director Morris-Once the budget is set we do not get a second crack, we would have to use reserves.

President Gaffer-With operating budget as things come back on line, does this take into account every

thing we need as far as GMW’s etc?

Director Morris-We don’t know-we have many new things, we have more glass, some of this is dangerous work. We have a lot of lobby space. We won’t have answers until we walk it through.

President Gaffer-Do we make money on the meal exchange?

Director Morris-Yes and no, we do not get commissions. If flex dollars are used they do get commission if more is spent than the meal exchange value.

President Gaffer-There was information given at Bookstore Advisory today-Barnes and Noble is

going to pay for some of the cost of the renovation, can you speak to that?

Director Morris-We have taken space from them and we’re going to take the cost, they came forward with a proposal to cover some of the costs as a good partner.

Approval of Agenda Agenda stands approved

Committee Reports

SAC-Jeet Sausen, Chair

SAC R#11-12-03 Women’s Club Hockey

SAC recommends allocating up to $1,000.00 to Women’s Club Hockey to attend the ACHA Western Division Tournament in Boulder, CO.

They are qualified as an RSO and under the umbrella of Campus Rec. They were invited to this.

20 students are attending. They qualify for $1,000.00. This would cover travel costs only.

Motion Passes Unanimously

SAC ##11.12.03 Men’s and Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Post Season Tournament Account

SAC recommends funding $20,230.05 to the Men’s and Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Post Season Tournament Account to cover the account deficit and bring the account to balance.

Basically they generate themselves. They prepay for travel and get reimbursed by the NCAA. Every now and then some one qualifies that does not get covered by the NCAA such as the Dance Team. Teams travel and need funds to get there. This has been in deficit for three years and needs to be brought to balance.

Senator Brown-Senators if you are not sure about this, we asked many questions of Mike Hodapp. This debt will come up every couple years.

Senator Decker-We should just fund this and make it go away.

Motion Passes

Next week we will have a recommendation for the MSU Aikido Club.

Student Affairs-Joshua Brown, Chair

Last week we invited people from Student Events Team, Concert Company, Mike Hodapp-we are coming to

consensus and feel we have an understanding of this.

There will be a Tenant Forum next week across from Stompers at noon. Tell your constituents

that are having problems to attend.

Tell anyone you know to join Student Affairs.

Senator Hart-Was the issue of bringing in local bands brought up?

Senator Brown-We have talked to everyone as this is a major amount possibly being requested.

Yes, it is being considered.

Senator Boyd-What are we saving the music from?

Senator Brown-The wild beasts?

President Gaffer-Point of personal privilege, when things are brought before this body we should

keep the sarcasm out.

Approval of Minutes (11-05-03) Minutes stand approved.

Officer Reports

President Rhys Gaffer

Appointments: Graduate Dean Search-Kirsten Becker, Nicole Schultz

Thank Irfan and Ruth for attending the first of several meetings of academic progress and the

financial aid issue. Thank Hasham for attending the International Student moratorium.

I went to the Hockey game on an invitation from Dr. Schlake, we sat in a box and had a good time.

I will be attending a dinner tonight with the Survivor Speakers.

Next week I will be attending the NAACP dinner in the Twin Cities. This is good as this group works on social justice issues.

The retreat development-I think we came together and we did mock studies. The Vice President and

Speaker and I are looking at more training particularly on lobbying. One of our senators will be

going on the Washington DC Lobby trip next week.

Senator Brown-Is the Hockey box something that is on going?

President Gaffer-The intent was to try and get student leaders together, I imagine we might find some

more events. Dr. Schlake wants leadership to come together more often.

Senator Boyd-Who is going on the lobby trip? Doesn’t senate have to approve that?

President Gaffer-Senator Hill is going and no senate does not have to approve that.

Vice President Anwer-Can you tell us more about the NAACP event you are attending?

President Gaffer-They are working on issues on our campus and working on programming and bringing speakers to campus.

Senator Decker-Is the box more fun than general admission?

President Gaffer-It was fun getting into the band.

Senator Brown-You said that Dr. Schlake wants to bring leadership together to talk about issues, is a hockey game the best setting?

President Gaffer-We decided that as leaders we need to go out and relax and have fun.

Vice President Shahzad Anwer

(handed out retreat packets) It was disappointing that not everyone was there. It was good and

we gained good information. The best thing about this was the case studies President Gaffer put together.

This week we met with Dean Trauger about financial issues. We also met with Dr. Schlake and received details on international student grant information. Graduate students are only allowed to work 14 hours, this is a state policy. They are not allowed to work in the summer. We would like to draft a letter to state legislators and maybe they can help us get this policy changed.

Senator Mudd-Is that for on campus or off campus hours?

Vice President Anwer-On campus hours.

Senator Helcl-Regarding classification of the financial aid issue, this is for a third party.

Vice President Anwer-We were told we will not be impacted directly.

Speaker Zach Biesanz

Helpful information-Clarifying questions-this is not to attack a speaker or question integrity, it is to get more information and get as much as we can. Senate is a formal setting that follows parliamentary procedure, we need to be as welcoming as possible, ask questions of the issues, do not make presenters feel foolish. The nicer we are, the more people will come and we can do a better job.

Regarding writing notes-should what we say in note form be germane? I don’t think so, it is a

good way to vent. A former Speaker once said. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit next to me.” We do need to avoid small talk.

The power of the senate body-we are more of an advisory body as we do not have the final say,

but it is no less important. We do have a lot of clout-we let the administration know how the student

body feels. Administration does not want to have an unhappy student body.

Senator Anderson has resigned her Graduate seat.

Speaking about the Constitution Article in the Reporter, we need to resolve issues. The first thing talks about the forming of the Constitution Commission in an effort to clarify questions about the MSSA constitution. That is wrong, it should not be reactionary appointed it should be up and running every year. It is to be there when we have issues, not to be formed when we have an issue. President Gaffer is not the President of the Senate. The Speaker is, President Gaffer is a member of the senate and does not have direct control of the senate. He does have veto power. The Reporter said that Dustin Mayfield did not allow President Oelberg to vote. In looking at the Roll Calls-President Oelberg did vote. The question of the President having the right to vote seems crystal clear-there is a line about the membership of the senate-President, Vice President and Senators-to me that seems perfectly clear. From my role we should not have to bring this to the Constitution Commission. Hopefully we can take care of that. The way the article was written it implied that the Constitution Commission had met-it has not met. From a constitutional stand point-there are inconsistencies. Our constitution gives a little leeway for the president to appoint a cabinet. The Constitution only requires the President appoint a Legislative Coordinator and a Campus Coordinator. This does not seem to be a constitutional issue. It mentions that our Constitution Commission has not done a review for five years. There was an attempt to appoint a Commission two years ago but we have not had a commission in several years. There is a statement in the article from President Gaffer wanting coordinators to have 12 month appointments. The MSSA President has a 12 month appointment, he appoints his cabinet for the duration of the term. Should he appoint coordinators in the Spring they should be around for the duration. There needs to be better communication between the President and the Reporter.

Report form Mark Halvorson (see written report)

TO: Minnesota State Student Association

FROM: Mark C. Halverson ­

RE: Student Attorney Activity, 2002 – 2003

DATE: October 17, 2003

This is a report regarding this firm's activities as Student Attorney. I will briefly summarize the nature of our consultations for fall and spring semesters of the 2002 - 2003 academic years. The contract for this period did not encompass summer consultations, which have been provided sometimes in the past. I will conclude with some observations and/or suggestions.

During this time frame, we conducted approximately 260 in-office consultations with students. We also responded to numerous phone inquiries, which because of their usually brief nature we do not generally record as consultations.

I have reviewed our consultation notes and divided them into general categories of legal inquiries. They break down as follows:

34.3% Land Lord Tenant: This encompasses student disputes with landlords - - although at least a couple of landlords made inquiries. You will note that this (perhaps not surprisingly) is our largest area of inquiry. This year, Highland Hills prompted the largest number of inquiries (25%), displacing Campus View (19%), the long time leader in this category. I believe this was because of Highland Hills' efforts to extensively remodel many units without satisfactorily accommodating the renters of many of those units. I do believe I detected a pattern of Highland Hills dealing particularly harshly with international students. A new complex, Rolling Oaks, made a ranking this year, although with many fewer contacts than the two noted above.

15.5% Criminal: This category encompasses inquiries regarding actual criminal complaints and traffic offenses, but does not include traffic tickets which appear not to be "criminal" offenses. The category includes inquiries about possible criminal activity which has not yet been charged.

10.9% Consumer: This includes inquiries about matters such as warranties, debt collection, "cooling off periods," etc.

9.4% Miscellaneous: This encompasses whatever doesn't fit nicely into one of the other categories, and includes a wide-range of sometimes bizarre inquiries. It also includes traditional inquiries such wills and probate and other areas where only a couple of inquiries were made during this reporting period.

6.4% Family: This encompasses questions about divorce, child support, paternity, etc.

4.9% Car accidents: This includes automobile accident issues, mostly involving liability and insurance questions, not severe personal injury or criminal issues that may accompany such an inquiry.

3.8% Personal Injury/Workers' Compensation: This includes significant injuries. Whether they be on the job or not.

3.4% Financial: This area encompasses inquiries about bankruptcy, liability for certain claims, and analysis of financial problems.

2.7% Institutional: This encompasses matters that are addressed nearly exclusively through the University governance process, with the actual legal right being the ultimate appeal of these decisions within the institutional process. It encompasses matters such as academic disputes, conduct problems, residence hall issues, etc.

2.7% Roommates: This encompasses disputes between roommates, often initially deemed a "landlord/tenant" issue. But to the extent they involve personality issues as their main component, I have started this new category. While involving some of the more emotional client interviews I experience and occasionally some very interesting stories, barring some sort of otherwise illegal conduct, or at least threats of that, there's not really much you can do to get rid of your roommate - at least not through the legal process.

1.9% Employment: This encompasses disputes regarding employment termination, wages, benefits, etc.

1.2% Business: This encompasses questions about business organization, operation, taxation, etc.

.8% Immigration: These inquiries were_ from foreign students with questions about their United States residency status. This amounted to only two inquiries this period - fewer than usual, which is good because this is a very technical area I don't practice in.

With the exception of those inquiries falling into the "immigration" category, and some of the very specialized inquiries that might be reported within the "miscellaneous" category, I feel I was very capable of adequately answering questions and outlining

legal options, at least in general terms. While there is a certain hazard in proposing what amounts to "legal strategy" when one is apprised of only one side of the facts, efforts are made to structure legal advice in a practical fashion. The focus is to provide preventive as well as preemptive advice whereby students can hopefully avoid a formal dispute or at least foresee a dispute coming and enhance their position as much as circumstances permit.

While our consultation hours have been curtailed significantly on an on-going basis while this firm has held the Student Attorney position, I believe we are able to meet with all students who are seriously concerned about their legal problems in an expeditious fashion. They at least get a half-hour consultation and are sent on their way with some suggestions as to how to cope with their problem. While most days are booked heavily, there are some occasions when there are appointment slots available that are not used.

The current funding level allows us only time for the scheduled consultations, what follow-up the consultations require, and administrative support. Were additional funds to become available to fund the Student Attorney (something everyone would probably deem unlikely given the current fiscal situation), considerable support work could be done. This might include conducting seminars to educate students about common legal problems (most notably landlord/tenant) in a pro-active fashion. It also would be nice to have funding to occasionally litigate selected matters that might be of overall benefit to the student population generally - although as a member of the Student Senate when the "Student Attorney" program was developed 30 years ago, 1 realize this is something the University administration and state agencies probably would not permit. If nothing else, considerable time could be devoted to updating, customizing and expanding the various materials we utilize to cover a broader range of topics.

Thank you for retaining this firm to serve as Student Attorney. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this report or other matters related to the endeavor.

Save the Music-I have a lot of strong opinions, to speak on policy opinions-as someone involved

in music industry I feel I have a few insights. I see an overwhelming trend in our University

that things be free. I am not aware of any other SAF funded event that is allowed to charge.

This should be taken into consideration when we decide to give SLD&SL money for events.

Thank Shahzad for a great job on the retreat.

Senator Deimerly-Concerning the Reporter-are you aware if the author had consulted anyone

on Parliamentary Procedures?

Speaker-I do not know, I will meet with her. I have met with several reporters in the past and

I apologize for not meeting with her sooner.

Senator Khan-In reading our constitution, I thought there was to be a fourth officer, the treasurer.

Speaker-We have not had a treasurer for a long time. I will research that and tell you why we do

not have that position.

Senator Decker-Does it say that all appointments expire the day of commencement?

Speaker-I understand it to mean that a new administration comes in after the election of the new President..

Senator Brown-Has there ever been anything to say that a coordinator position is to last

only one semester or a year long?

Speaker-I understand it to mean a year long. I want to be at the Commission to consult with them.

I want to mediate on behalf of the senate and on behalf of the Speaker.

Senator Mudd-Did the Reporter article say I was appointed as the chair?

Speaker-The Constitution Commission does not currently have a chair. They elect from the students

elected. They have not met and do not have a chair.

Senator Decker-If it is true that Presidential appointees end with commencement-how is it

that appointments are for the year?

Speaker-Coordinators end their duties with the swearing in of the new President.

Coordinator Report

Media Relations/Events Coordinator-Kunwar Singh (report given by Vice President Anwer)

Yesterday President Gaffer, Vice President Anwer and I met with Dr. Schlake, Dr. Olson and Tom Gjersvig-Director of the International Student Office. The key issue we discussed was the grant programs for international students. We talked about an emergency fund for international students in case of extreme circumstances in their home country, such as natural catastrophes, de-valuation of money, etc. since there is no option for a FAFSA available to them. This meeting was a follow-up

to the question brought up in the “Higher Education Tuition Forum” about the status of international students as tuition rises. We also discussed Cooperative Education Program, through which the university works with various companies for providing students an opportunity to work in the real world and get paid without taking it as an internship credit.

We have an Off-Campus Tenant Forum next Tuesday in the Purple Lounge between at 12:00 noon. City Councilman Mark Frost will be a speaker along with the Student Attorney Mark Halverson and off-campus senators. Particular issues will include clarification of student rights and responsibilities as Off-Campus tenants. The posters for the event are ready and we are in the process of publicity. We have an ad running the Reporter on Thursday the 13th of November. The posters in your mailboxes were for you to advertise to your constituencies.

Senator Hart-The CDP program would this authorize students to work off-campus?

Vice President Anwer-No it does not open opportunities to work any where, but with specific

programs. This is not just for international students.

Senator Lessard-How can this senate body help get international students to work off-campus?

Vice President Anwer-That would take a lot, it is a national thing. They may be allowed on certain

circumstances but in general it is nearly impossible.

Senator Iqbal-Is there any criteria for international students to be apart of this program?

Vice President Anwer-It will be based more on need. The student body could help with

paper work in the process.

Senator Hart-The Emergency Grant-where does this funding come from?

Vice President Anwer-This was more of a brain storming meeting. We are still thinking about

how this can actually happen.

Senator Reports

McElroy Hall-Joshua Brown

Last week I met with complex director regarding RHA’s hours, emails and calls not returned. Also

the attitude in the executive branch of RHA. It is not an inviting atmosphere. She set up individual

meetings with the executive officers.

Parking Appeals-RHA has given us two new members, we are waiting on a faculty member.

The meal plan issue-this is totally my recommendation. This is a can of worms I wish I would

have left alone. I have talked to everyone about this. This is my opinion-there are 2700 meal plans-

308 of them were cut off. If a meal plan was cut off-well they do have to pay their tuition and they do have the option to pay this in three payments. I investigated that in depth-if a student has a meal plan

cut off-the university will not stand in the way of a student getting an education. You can

get a payment plan and if it is in reason and you make an honest effort to make the payments.. If you do not do this they will nail you and they have the right to do that. The Business Office will work with you. My recommendation is this: if you do owe money rather than the three payments split it in

to four payments, then if a student owes $1500 it will cut their bill a lot, it will show them we

are doing whatever we can.

RHA plan-basically a couple points to bring up are the minimal wage in Carkoski, this will

go to the university wage, this is contractual. Why is campus minimum wage so high, if it

were lowered would res hall rates be lowered? They are looking at a 7-8 % increase. We are

the second lowest in the system. If we keep the newspaper program it will cost an additional $17.75. The coffee mugs, should we keep or not. Other issues: Laundry options, CSU new meal hours. 75 meal plans will not be in affect next year.

The Hockey booth-RHA members were concerned, asking why should senate sit there and not them?

Who is in charge of the flag, who takes in down and puts it up?

Vice President Anwer-It is the Security Dept.

Mice And Men is this weekend, it is very emotional.

This is my personal bit-I am upset with this group specifically. The Retreat was a joke-there were

things that upset me. People not showing up, people were late. We are here to represent the

campus. Leadership is big, if you do not show up that is disrespectful. If you are in a leadership

position you should not bad mouth someone. Have the respect and confront someone.

Vice President Anwer-Back to the business office plan-is it mandated on how they make it up.

Senator Brown-They can work out the plan with the Business Office. This school really is a good deal.

Senator Decker-If you could not pay your debts would you consider bankruptcy?

Senator Brown-School loans will stay with you forever.

Senator Entinger-Is that newspaper money included?

Senator Brown- They want to consider the newspaper-it will be $17.75 on top of what they pay. Mug will be an extra $1.75. Laundry charge has not yet been decided-Extra opening hours will also be an extra charge.

Senator Mudd-Is the minimum student wage on a yearly basis?

Senator Brown-On a yearly basis-most contracts are 3by2,

Senator Hart-Do you know if the payment schedule could be used to cover the $700,000.

Senator Brown-I have heard that money will be split up.

Senator Hart-Are these fees just for res hall students?

Senator Brown-They are all for on-campus students.

Senator Lessard-Where you given information on the amount of space per person that

MSU has compared to other places?

Senator Brown-No, I will ask.

Off-Campus-John Helcl

Senator Helcl-I was unable to attend the retreat until 10:00. I am working with the city

on ordinances they are trying to pass. Drinking on paved parking lots. There is talk about

the DPS trying to get a calendar together regarding security all being on one page. Dr. Parham

is moving on, Law Enforcement will be difficult for a month or so until they get everything

squared away. Attend the Immigration Forum. It is November 20 at 1:00 in CSU 284. There will be someone there from immigration. Metro state students feel they are under harassment.

Vice President Anwer-What did you say about Security?

Senator Helcl-The City of Mankato is trying to get the apartment complexes together

and work out a compact for other security to get involved in.

Vice President Anwer-Is this for on-campus security?

Senator Helcl-They would like to involve all security.

Senator Brandt-Are they going to have residents on this committee?

Senator Helcl-I am not sure.

Senator Lessard-What is the address of Dr. Allen’s speech

Senator Helcl-He will be speaking at the Unitarian Church.

College of Business-Abbas Raza

First I would like to discuss the $125.00 laptop fees, that amount is used for Smart Boards, classroom technology and software. That money is also used for the printers. One big advantage that the College of Business has is the increase in the amount of quota of Mavdisk that is from 30 to 50 MB. Then there are six classes specifically for the College of Business in Morris Hall and first preference is given to the classes for the College of Business. College of Business students get free software apart from Windows XP, such as SPSS, Anti-Virus, etc.

The Student Advisory Panel has been formed and in discussion with Scott Johnson. I was told that if any College of Business student wants to be represented they should contact him. That panel is comprised of two of the faculty members and students in the college. Their first meeting was yesterday and 15 students showed up. They basically need input from the students and are waiting for their recommendations. I have already e-mailed all COSBO members and I am waiting for their response.

I am planning to have an open forum or kind of a discussion panel which would be comprised of Scott Johnson, Shane Bowyer and Marilyn Fox. It would be an open discussion with focus groups and with all College of Business students invited to voice their opinions and concerns.

Senator Boyd-Do you know if the College of Business has considered open source software to cut costs?

Senator Raza-I will find that out.


Senator Hill-Regarding the two year grant program, I will be learning more about that and get back to your.

Senator Khan-Crawford will be having a Clothing Drive

Senator Brown-Mice and Men. I also learned to knit.

Senator Boyd-Tonight at 7:00 in Ostrander there is a survivor presentation.

Speaker Biesanz-North Ballroom, Monday-four bands will be playing. This music needs no saving

and is self sufficient.

Senator Decker-Senator Deimerly did a good job on open mic night.

Senator Paulson-I heard Mice and Men will be playing the next two weeks.

Roll Call

Senators Present

Jessica Cichy, Ryan Deimerly, Abbas Raza, Muhammad Jiwani, Jessica Boyd, Irfan Bangash, Sudeep Shrestha, Greg Lessard, Eric Hill, Bryan Hart, Imran Hussein, Faizan Khan, Jocelyn Crist, Joshua Brown, Nathan Entinger, John Helcl, Abuzar Iqbal, Kail Decker, Megan Brandt, Ian Radtke, Rachel Mudd, Beth Paulson

Senators Absent

Muhammad Sohail Rauf

Officers Present

Shahzad Anwer

Officers Absent

Rhys Gaffer

Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 6:24 P.M.