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


Page address:

73rd MSSA Senate
March 22, 2006


Meeting called to order by Speaker Gabe Afolayan
Roll Call (present-absent-proxy-excused)
Elizabeth Zika 23-0-0,  Mercy Wariari 2-2-0, Karen Rubbert 5-0-0, James Dye 22-0-0-1, Kevin Bender 22-1-0, Brandon Ross 21-1-1, Jenna Ault 22-1-0, Melissa Turner 32-0-0, Kristeen Giese 15-1-0,  Jessica Nelson 4-0-0, Oluwaseyi Ogunseye 18-4-0-1, Christopher Frederick 22-1-0, Lisa Darvell 22-1-0, Josh Peterson 20-2-0-1, Marianne Reilly 12-1-0,  Omolayo Ogunnowo 16-2-0, Ryan Flugaur 4-0-0, A.J. Bittner 7-0-0, Shannon Woods 21-0-0-2, Eric Christensen 14-1-0, Jessica Cichy 20-3-0, Matthew Ward 19-3-1, Jeff Brand 15-0-1,  Jared Jackson 23-0-0, Ian Boyd 16-1-0, Philip VanWyngarden 7-0-0, Ryan Anderson 13-0-0, President Rob Wills 21-1-0-1, Vice President Mike Bruner 16-2-0

Approval of Agenda  Agenda approved with addition of Senator Frederick

Approval of Minutes   3-8-06 Minutes stand approved

Old Business
Officer Reports
President Rob Wills
            MSUSA DC Summit-Senator Frederick and I met with Senator Norm Coleman's staff and Senator Mark Dayton.  You will hearing about more of this from other senators. If any of you are interested
            an organization called Kids Against Hunger is looking for volunteers to pack food this weekend.
Appointments:  Elections Committee-Khumar Raza, Megan Baule, Career Development
Assistant Director Search-Tracee Veenstra, Kristin Wenzel
Senator Bender-Does the volunteering cost anything?
President Wills-I will look into that  I think it is $2.00.
Vice President Mike Bruner
The survey is out, we have had an amazing response.  We have had over 400 returns in three hours.
I hope you all take it and remind your friends.  The Savings Club Card is now up and running. 
You don't have to have the card, just your MavCard.  We will send out a mass email letting
students know about this. 
            I have been going to the Budget meetings.  The student pay recommendation was to give a 2% increase to student workers.
Senator Ross-How much will the pay increase be?
            Vice President Bruner-There are different rates for different positions, I have the information in the  
            Senator Bender-Is there a marketing plan on getting this information on the Savings Card out to students?
Vice President Bruner-I am open to suggestions, we will use posters and email. 

Initial Recognition:  National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Koshish
            DC Summit was great.  I met with Representative Gutknicht's staff, we encouraged them to
            fund federal aid and biofuel.  We discussed higher education, I also went to a presentation on alcohol and drugs on campuses.  The web site is updated with the summary from the trip to DC and pictures.

Committee Reports
Student Allocation Committee-Matt Ward
SAC M#03.06.06A  MSU Circle K

            SAC recommends allocating up to $500.00 to MSU Circle K to attend the Circle K District Spring Convention in Fargo, North Dakota.

Senator Flugaur-What is Circle K?
Senator Darvell-Circle K is an international service group.  They do things like paint the town.
Motion Passed                

            SAC M#03.06.06B MSU Cycling Club

            SAC recommends allocating up to $200.00 to MSU Cycling Club to participate at the North Central Collegiate Cycling Conference in Manhattan, Kansas.

Motion Passed

Elections Committee-Kevin Bender
The committee met and finalized the rules.  Campaigning begins Monday.  This year we are doing
a MSU Student Profile.  Websites also need to be approved prior to posting the web site.  I challenge
            you to talk to your constituents about elections.  Tell them about being a senator, get students involved.
Senator Jackson-Will the profiles be on the website?
Senator Bender-We want people to put a profile so students can put a name with a face.
President Wills-How will you enforce the website policy?
Senator Bender-We want you to show us the website when you finish it.

Student Union Board-Seyi Ogunseye
The Evening Building Manager position search has now begun.  The Director position is still
on hold.  We talked about doing renovations in the Ballroom, the lighting needs to be replaced
and the asbestos, it does not have to be done tomorrow but soon.  The whole project will cost
about $2.5 million.
Vice President Bruner-The search is on for the Evening Coordinator but we do not know why
the Director search has not begun?
Senator Seyi-Yes, hopefully it will resume soon.

            Senator Reports 
            College of Graduate Studies-Kristeen Giese
As many of you know, I recently attended the DC Summit with several other MSSA and MSUSA representatives in Washington D.C. The experience itself was very exciting.
We first all jammed into a bus and drove from Minnesota to Washington D.C.  I think the bus trip was a test of dedication and survival. If you could handle that part of the trip, you could handle most anything.

The first evening we spent some time having a nice dinner and getting to know some of the other students who were there from Minnesota and several other states (CO, ME to name a few). We also heard from a very exciting motivational speaker named Lasana Hotep. Lasana talked about organizing and motivating others, this would come in handy when trying to encourage students on our campus to become more involved.

I attended many sessions over the next few days of the summit. They included: Leadership Development, Grassroots II and III, Advanced Lobby Training, ABC’s of Student Fees, and Academic Bill of Rights.

Some key skills that I feel that I was able to build on or develop as a result of this trip include: how to develop my existing leadership skills and fine tune them to become a better leader, as I now have a better understanding of the role of a leader and how to expand those skills and focus on the higher goal with a better understanding of delegation and accountability. The session on grassroots helped me focus and organize. It gave me a real sense of how to get a handle on the planning process of creating social change through this organization and planning process.

The one area that I felt I gained the most new knowledge was the session on ABC’s of Student Fees. I got a background on how and why student fees came about and reviewed some misconceptions. We also practiced how to be viewpoint neutral.

I think anyone who attended the session on Academic Bill of Rights felt the room fill with emotion. This was a very interesting session. Tim Donahue moderated a discussion between two panel members. One of the panel members represented the Center for Free Speech and the other represented Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania.

To me, the session seemed to be more about left against right and not so much about student’s rights. I discussed this with both panel members after the session that I felt that the Academic Bill of Rights, like the Constitution of United State should be a non partisan document. It also seemed to me that perhaps part of the fight should include changing policies on campus that are not fair to students: for example, grievance procedure: Currently, this process is intimidating and seems to lead to students not trusting the administration and faculty. This process should include students as well as faculty as part of the process.

We participated in a fun four hour activity where we each were broken up into groups, each group was then to practice media relations, organizing a campus activity and lobbying legislation for support of higher education (keep in mind that the campus activities were just organized, not completed). Some groups made posters; some even got creative and made rally shirts. Each group met with as many (Summit organizers) senators and representatives that they could, they requested a media session and held that session. This was a fun way to practice the skills we learned during the session, before we actually had to use them.

Following the Summit, students then were split up into groups and meetings were arranged that each group to meet with senators and representatives and use the tools that they learned during the training to lobby for higher education. As a result of all of the hard work, the Senate passed an amendment (Specter-Harkin) to their budget resolution that restored funding to higher education programs that were cut in the president’s budget. The Specter-Harkin amendment passed on a vote of 73-27. Both MN Senators voted YES!
Senator Brand-Can you explain the Specter-Harkin Bill?
Senator Giese-President Bush cut money that allows students resources to prepare for college and
the Pell grant.  This restores $7.1 million.
Senator Anderson-Academic Bill of Rights-is this we talked about a few weeks ago?
Senator Giese-It is similar.  I did research on this and did find universities that have a Bill of Rights, the discussion we heard was blaming.  We did not get to the real issues and what we can do to protect our rights.
Vice President Bruner-On the Academic Bill of Rights-after the trip do you have any thoughts?
Senator Giese-We have many polices on our campus that protect faculty and staff which is great
but I think students should have equal rights and protection.  We have some things there but they are
not collected together, students are not aware of where to go if they have a grievance.  This is a
problem on our campus.  I have looked at a procedure for students that do want to file a grievance.
Information was not even all on the website.  We can do a lot of things. 

            Crawford-Omolayo Ogunnowo
I have been working on Diversity.  I worked with the office of Multi Cultural Affairs on the
Pan African Conference.  From my constituents, I have found that more publicity
            for the Pan African Conference needs to be done.  Many families have no idea about diversity.  People need to be more open minded.  We need to publicize other cultures. 
            The International Festival is coming soon, not only do you experience one side but you learn about many cultures. I am setting up a meeting with Myrna Hernandez regarding some issues in res life. 
President Wills-How can we better promote African Night-Saturday?
Senator Layo-African Night will be very nice; it is about pride and culture of the African continent.
You can help work with that.
Senator Cichy-Do you feel since Chartwell lost their contract they are doing a horrible job?
Senator Layo-Yes, Students are concerned about this and about the things they are being served.
Senator Cichy-Have you personally seen a difference?
Senator Anderson-Yes, they have taken away fresh stir fry and they are now doing only the
things guaranteed in their contract that is necessary. 

SET-Christopher Frederick
DC Summit trip-
I would first off like to thank you for the opportunity to go on such a great trip. I was fortunate enough to go to several different sessions; those being: Leadership and Development, a three hour session on Grassroots, how public schools are becoming more privatized, working with the powers that be, and state student associations; working together. Along with the different sessions there was a great activity devoted to lobbying.
      In the leadership and development session the main focus was on the different leadership styles and the roles of an organization. The key level and role of every organization is on the individual. Another key thing that I took out of that session was about the art of delegation versus “passing the buck”. Along the same lines as that there was discussion on what a good report is, a report is to focus on what you have done not on what you’re going to do. In the second session that I attended we went through what Grassroots is and how it is used. This was a great three hour session on the way this type of organizing can do and what it has done. It ended with a very informative activity that got the entire class involved.
      In the second day of sessions they were more geared towards a round table discussion on what works and what doesn’t work in student government. The one session that I thought that was best for our campus was the one “dealing with the powers that be”. In this session they gave us great tips on how to work with and not against administration. The key is to always have an open mind, treat people with respect and be willing to compromise on an outcome that would better the students.
      To wrap things up there was a great lobbing experience that happened on the first day of the conference. What this entailed was how to properly talk with legislators to get your point across and how to put together a press conference on what you wanted. This was great experience for when we did lobby our senators and congressmen. I know when meeting with Senator Coleman’s staff that these tools were great when presenting our information about student financial aid.
      Once again, I would like to thank everyone for the great opportunity to go on such a great trip. I would recommend it for anyone interested in government to go next year.
Vice President Bruner-Did you win the lobby game?
Senator Frederick-Unfortunately the Ohio students won.
Senator Cichy-What was the highlight of your trip?
            Senator Frederick-Going to the capital and meeting with Dayton and Coleman's staffer.  We sat in on a session and heard legislation.  In order to get in the capital you have to go through 3 security checks.
You can not bring in cameras. 
Senator Giese-Did they allow you to take pictures of the motorcade?
Senator Frederick-No they do not, I recommend you do not try to do that.            
Senator Bender-Remind const. about elections, get people to run and vote.
Senator Giese-I am putting together a discussion group on getting students to participate in elections on campus and off.
Senator Ross-We will be holding a forum.  We need every senator to be at that.
Senator Ault-Yolanda King-Tickets are free, great speaker.
Senator Cichy-SSS-Taco Feed.  3 bands and all you can eat tacos.  5:00 Bandana Brewery
Senator Layo-African Night Sat. 6:00
Senator VanWyngarden-Organizations Charts
Senator Ward-SAC Hearings-Mondays 4:00 and Wed 2:00. Schedule in office, I encourage you
to get a head start on the process.
Kyle Struck-Today Julia and I were tabling to try and get people to call reps regarding the bonding bill.  This is important as MSU has many repairs to do including Trafton.  come to the table and
help out.  Lobby Day is April 3.  MSUSA Delegates is in 10 days.  28-information meeting
regarding the even. 
Laramie Project-Sun and Mon night in Ostrander.
VP Bruner-Tomorrow Gut and Kennedy will be in the Heritage Room, show up and have a
chat.  9-10:15.
Senator Bender-Peter Singer tonight at 7:00 P.M.
Senator Giese-Nontrads are hosting bowling night Friday.
Senator Cichy-Sigma, Sigma, Sigma is sponsoring the 7th annual Easter Egg hunt at Sibley Park on Saturday, April 15.  It is free for children.
Roll Call
Senators Present
Elizabeth Zika, Karen Rubbert, James Dye, Kevin Bender, Brandon Ross, Jenna Ault, Melissa Turner, Kristeen Giese, Jessica Nelson, Seyi Ogunseye, Christopher Frederick, Lisa Darvell, Josh Peterson, Marianne Reilly, Omolayo Ogunnowo, Ryan Flugaur, Andrew bittner, Shannon Woods, ERic Christensen, Jessica Cichy, Matthew Ward, Jeff Brand, Jered Jackson, Ian Boyd , Philip VanWyngarden, Ryan Anderson
Senators Absent
Mercy Wariari
Executive Staff Present
President Rob Wills, Vice President Mike Bruner
Adjournment  Meeting adjourned at 5:04 P.M.