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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


Page address:

  73rd MSSA Senate
  November 16, 2005

Meeting called to order by Speaker Megan Brandt
Roll Call (present-absent-proxy-excused)
Elizabeth Zika 12-0-0,  Cathy Cloran 5-0-0, Haley Pederson 12-0-0, James Dye 11-0-0-1, Kevin Bender 12-0-0, Brandon Ross 11-0-1, Jenna Ault 12-0-0 Melissa Turner 12-0-0, Kristeen Giese 5-0-0 , Gabe Afolayan 12-0-0, Ofunseye Ogunseye 11-1-0, Christopher Frederick 12-0-0, Lisa Darvell 11 -1-0, Josh Peterson 11-1-0, Marianne Reilly 2-0-0,  Sarah McLaughlin 7-3-0-2, Maria Schweer 6-1-0, Omolayo Ogunnowo 7-0-0, Andrew Pyzyk 6-0-1, Barbara Johnson- 3-1-1 ,  Shannon Woods 12-0-0,Eric Christensen 5-0-0, Jessica Cichy 10-2-0, Matthew Ward 12-0-0, Jeff Brand-3-0-1,  Jared Jackson 12-0-0, Andrew Isker-proxy Jake Morgan 3-5-3-1, Ian Boyd 7-0-0, Ryan Anderson 2-0-0,  President Rob Wills 10-0-0-1, Vice President Mike Bruner 6-0-0

Approval of Agenda  Agenda stands approved

Approval of Minutes   11-09-05 Minutes  Minutes stand approved

Presentation-Vice President of Finance & Administration, Dean Trauger
      We are here today to continue the FY 06/07 budget consultation process.  We have had a couple of changes as we have moved through planning.   Numbers are a little different today, particularly under salaries-new positions is now up to $746,681.00    Positions are: Presidential Fellow, LGBT, Sexual Assault,  Capital Campaign Major Gift Officer, Special ITS Position, Summer Counseling Position, Planning Position, Distance Learning Fellow, Academic Affairs positions.  It was suggested by Minnesota State that we add in $500,000 in compensated absences.  Graduate Assistant pay has been increased for the first time in three years to make us competitive with other institutions-$1,525,794.00.  This has not been finalized.  We have requested $500,000 for Strategic Initiative. If this is approved students will be paying approximately $422.00 more in tuition.  The President feels this is what should be given to the Board of Trustees.  We are in the middle of the seven state universities for tuition comparison. 
Senator Brand-I see $1,384.662.00 for Repair and Replacement-does that include asbestos removal in Trafton?
Vice President Trauger-No, this is just daily repairs.  We do have in the R&R budget designated things for some asbestos removal but the major request in Trafton is in new construction.  Asbestos removal has been running close to $200,000.
Senator Brand-Can you tell me the time-line?  I have had people ask me about this.
Vice President Trauger-What particular area?  We have been doing on-going removal in Trafton.
President Wills-I have a question on the new Strategic Initiative.
Vice President Trauger-This has been identified by the legislature for state schools to develop doctoral programs.  We do not know how long it will take for MSU.  Out of the million dollars requested, none of that
would go to doctoral programs.  I do not want to see undergrad programs suffer for doctoral programs.
A faculty person spoke today about that as well.  As this discussion gets going students need to help work
through that and how that money is allocated or reallocated is key.  In this budget there are no dollars
committed to doctoral programs but it could be in the 08 budget.
Senator Dye-Strategic Mission-if not for doctoral programs, what is it requested for?
\Vice President Trauger-Besides what departments have requested – we have not identified what needs
threre are to advance that.  We will bring that to the senate when they are identified in the Spring.
Senator Ross-The last time you spoke to us you mentioned a tuition amount of 7%, now you are saying 9 %.
Vice President Trauger-We did not allocate money for the grad assistantship programs before.  Minnesota State has also now indicated we need to add $500,000 for compensated absences, this provides money if people leave or retire and have accumulated sick leave or vacation.  We have money for severance pay out there but they did not believe we had enough.  That is new, and the new positions increase from $350,000-$746,681.00 about a $400, 000 increase.  That is one of the unfortunate things we have with the timing of this, throughout the year things get addressed.  Hopefully we have everything here.  Any more changes would have to be holding the line or subtracting.
Senator Ross-Can you actually cut from the budget?
Vice President Trauger-What you say will help shape the budget.  Normally we have a longer period of
time to get feed back on the budget. 
Senator Ward-Scholarships-doctoral fellows, if this is paid for by undergraduate students why not
look at cutting some of that out of the budget?
Vice President Trauger-I understand they will be doing teaching so they are indirectly related to doctoral programs.  Rather than hire a full time faculty they will hire a pre-doctoral fellow.  Compensation is tied to instruction.  Potential cost of developing is something we do need to look at.
Senator Darvell-Why the need for $500,000 jump in Strategic Initiative?
Vice President Trauger-The President feels he needs that much money if he is going to improve the university on an annual basis to address the initiative.  This is the President’s view of what he thinks is going to be needed.  We will bring you specifics in January.  The important point is giving you this to get your feedback on
Initiatives on Marketing, Diversity.  We are trying to get MSU’s name out there for the capital campaign,
which will help fund various projects at the university.  These are issues that will be addressed.  The President
wants to make this university better and if these initiatives are properly funded it will make your experience better.
Senator Cichy-This says that St Cloud’s tuition is now $5,330.00, before you gave us the amount of $5600.00, did that go down?
Vice President Trauger-This was changed from their web site to the figures given in the Chronicle of Higher Education.  We used the Chronicle in the previous report.  By comparison we are about $72.00 more.
Senator Bender-Strategic Initiative-basically the extra is for marketing?
Vice President Trauger-I was talking about the marketing for the capital campaign which over a 3-5 year period will bring in $40-50 million dollars for facilities, scholarships.  There are 5 or 6 categories in that campaign.  In these initiatives there is money for marketing and development, but again there is optimism that this will pay off because people will know who MSU is and our qualities and strengths.
Senator Bender-Will we be finding out outcomes of the strategic initiatives?
Vice President Trauger-Marketing in the capital campaign is tied to this but strategic initiatives need to be
reporting back what are we seeing a year later as far as outcomes.  Accountability and feedback in
performance indicators are in any new initiatives.  We have not had that over the years-assessment feedback..
Hopefully there will be positive benefits to the institution.
Vice President Bruner-So we can understand-strategic initiative-allocated with board based goals in mind
will be allocated for 07. 
Vice President Trauger-Yes, it will go into the nine initiatives.
Senator Pederson-Earlier you mentioned how  the administration would be looking at cutting?
Vice President Trauger-Planning Budget Sub Meet & Confer are trying to address that because it is clear we can not balance the budget purely on tuition.  We may need to let go of some things and put those dollars
towards new needs instead of coming from new income.  That takes a lot of discipline and we need students input on how we go about that. We need to be together and there will always be someone coming forward
and saying we can’t drop something, so we need a broad based group in planning and getting students involved.
It will take all constituents to say we support cutting something and moving money, otherwise we can’t get there.  There will always be someone to see the negative but we need support from all groups.
Senator Cichy-How did St. Cloud only have a 4% increase?
Vice President Trauger-They had that in 06.  I don’t know what they are doing for 07.  They were ahead of
us.  I don’t know what the Board of Trustees will approve.  We are very close to St. Cloud. We have different program mixes on each campus.  We have a better Engineering program and that is more costly, Nursing is more expensive.  It is hard to take two institutions and say the costs should be the same.

Officer Reports
President Wills 
Appointments:  Diversity Commission-Pamela Dervetski
Thank you for coming and helping with Hockey PR.  It was great to see you there.
I have been working a lot on this tuition issue, as a letter is due to Minnesota State today.  This is Diversity week, thank you to everyone that helped decorate.
Vice President Bruner-What does the letter say?
President Wills-It is about the process, on how the administration has consulted with us.  We evaluate
consultation on how well we discussed tuition with the administration.

Speaker Brandt:  I have a motion before me.


M#11.16.05 A  Tuition  President Wills/Vice President Bruner

Whereas:                      Tuition is projected to increase by 9%

Whereas:                      Without a specific standard, $500,000 is too much money

Be it Resolved:              MSSA does not support an increase in the Strategic Initiative Fund.

President Wills-I think what we had allocated was enough.  We do not know how this is going to be used.
Vice President Bruner-We feel with tuition increasing this is too much money without even knowing where
this is going.  We hope you feel the same way.
Senator Bender-This is a brand new thing, we have not seen the results of this from last year.  Maybe alternative sources could be found.
Senator Brand-I discussed this with the chair of our department, our department is going to do this independently.  I don’t think this is the way to do this.
Senator Giese-I think we do need more information on where the dollars go.  There are more funds being requested than what would be supported by the budget.  Example-Sexual Assault is very crucial for campus,
some other things do have merit and would be good programs on campus.  We just don’t know where the
money is going.
Senator Ward-I agree-$500,000 is not a reasonable number we can not agree to allocate without knowing what is going where.
Motion passes, one abstention

Vice President Bruner
MSUSA-I want to bring 10 people in March.  We will talk about how we want to lobby the federal legislature.
M#11.16.05B  Vice President Bruner/Senator Afolayan

Whereas:                The MSSA website is of vital importance, serving as a link between student government and the student body.

Whereas:                Having an up to date and useful website is crucial to Student Government’s performance

Be It Resolved:       We move to create a new position of Webmaster.  This position will be responsible for
                              developing and maintaining the MSSA website.  The Webmaster will be appointed by the
                              President and confirmed by the Student Senate.  The Webmaster shall be paid $50.00 per month.  A committee will also be formed to oversee the work of the Webmaster.  This committee will be called the Website committee.  The Website committee will consist of at least one Senator from CSET, one from Student Life, and one from Academic Life.  The Committee will have no more than six members.  The Committee will meet monthly with the Webmaster to consult with and give direction to the Webmaster.

Vice President Bruner-The problem with our website is that it falls to us to update it.  We are not web designers.  This solves the problem to use our website to get in touch with students.  If this passes we can get someone that can do a good job for us.
Senator Afolayan-This is good because the committee could oversee what goes on the web as well
as the position.
Senator Darvell-What happened to giving credit for this position?
Senator Christensen-If we are creating a position of Webmaster we should post this so other students
will know there is an actual position.
Vice President Bruner-We have had so much pressure to get this done.  Of course in the future
we would advertise. I did talk to the Dean and get some names.  We should have a process.
Academic credit is still in the process-Greg Asher liked this idea and he felt a class could be
created, until then a student would have to do an independent study.  This is fair because they
should have some compensation for the amount of work they will be doing. 
Senator Brand-I think this is a brilliant idea, we need to get this taken care of so students can
log on and see what we are doing.
Motion passes unanimously

President Wills-Did we purchase the Roberts Rules for Dummies?
Vice President Bruner-Yes we did.

Speaker Brandt
Initial Recognition: MSU APICS (The Association for Operations Management, MSU Student Chapter), Democracy Matters, National Residence Hall Honorary, Conservatives for Truth
New senators-we can set up a quick session on Parley Pro. 
No senate next week.  The first meeting in Dec. we will have a potluck.

M#11-16-05C  Senator Ward/Senator Jackson

Whereas:                Current smoking policies are not being enforced

Whereas:                A smoking policy that prohibits smoking within 15 feet of any building is not
                              feasible on any Minnesota campus

Be it Moved:          We, the Minnesota State Student Association do not support changes to the policy.                  

Senator Giese-My concern is that we should be looking at getting it enforced. 
Senator Bender/Senator Brand

Move to amend the motion to add-whereas Student Senate recommends feedback on how they plan to enforce this policy. 

Discussion on the amendment
            Senator Bender-It is not the clearest amendment but the motion now says we do not enforce it, we need to know how they are going to enforce the policy then this brings both sides together.
Senator Brand-We already have a 10 foot rule but no rules on enforcement, this will give us an
            idea on how they plan to enforce this in a reasonable manner like what do they do for a first offense, second, etc. 
Senator Ward-The policy says they can basically write up people who do not do this, other
senators have talked about  a lack of staff to enforce this.
Senator Bender-Motion withdrawn.
Discussion of main motion
President Wills-Because I am not in favor of smoking does not mean I should impose rules
on people that do.
Senator Cichy-The current policy should be enforced before a new motion is added.
            Vice President Bruner-I think it is ironic that we are discussing this policy on a blizzard cold day when  all smokers were hovered around the entrances, smokers should not be forced to stand in the wind.  I will not even talk about how ugly the receptacles would be 15 feet out on the lawn.
Roll Call Vote
Senators voting yes
Elizabeth Zika, Haley Pederson, James Dye w/rights, Kevin Bender, Brandon Ross, Jenna Ault, Melissa Turner, Kristeen Giese, Seye Ofunseye, Lisa Darvell, Marianne Reilly, Omolayo Ogunnowo, Shannon Woods, Eric Christensen, Jessica Cichy, Matt Ward, Jered Jackson, Ryan Anderson
Senators voting no
Andrew Pyzyk, Jeff Brand
Senators abstaining
Gabe Afolayan
Executive Staff voting yes
President Wills, Vice President Bruner
Motion Passes

Committee Reports
SAC-Matt Ward, Co-Chair
SAC M#11-14-05A

SAC recommends allocating up to $900.00 to Anime Fan Club to attend the annual Anime Detour Convention in Bloomington, MN. 

President Wills-Is it true that you can see the SAC request in the office before the meeting?
Chair Ward-Yes, it is hanging in the office one week before it comes to senate.
Vice President Bruner-I am not trying to sound trivial but what do they want to do?
Senator Zika-proxy Hall-I see them meeting, and they discuss animation.
Senator Ward-They did get $900 from the administration.  They raised $1500.00
Senator Wood-I understand that SAC has money to allocate and they never reach that amount.
Senator Bender-My question is this-$900 from the administration, can you clarify that?
Senator Ward-Personal contributions, fundraising, $900 was what they wanted from SAC.
Motion passes
Chair Ward-Look over the budget allocations that were handed out.  You can see the surpluses and deficits.
We thought this was important for you to have. 
Senator Brand-How does the deficit work, does it go against them next year?
Senator Dye-The deficit will be carried over to the next year.  It is my understanding that some deficits
have been carried over for years, it does not have to be paid immediately.

Academic Affairs-Kevin Bender, Gabe Afolayan           
In Academic Affairs we discussed Students for Students, the class project will do a survey from Zoomerang regarding the textbooks.  We will talk about student opinion on textbooks, these results will be shared with senate from the class project. 
Academic Affairs endorsement-PSEO policy-Academic Affairs move that we approve the PSEO policy as submitted.
Last Thursday we talked at the COB meetings about slide shows, we said we are sick of that. 
Gabe Afolayan-In regards to open forum regarding the Interior Design Program,  we feel we do not
have anything we can accomplish by continuing to work on this.  Anything further will need to be initiated by the students in the program.

 Senator Reports
      Off-Campus-Jeff Brand
Since being elected off-campus senator in October, I launched right into a series of research and development ideas.  I have been researching the cost/effectiveness of switching from polypropylene (Styrofoam) to one of the wheat based substitutes currently out on the market.  This substance takes 3 weeks to biodegrade rather than over 1,000,000 years.  I am also researching the U of W Madison plan of implementing refillable mugs in the food court to prevent waste on campus.  More on this issue next semester.

I’ve met with Dr. Mahoney with the Biology Department to find out what the Senate could do for her in establishing the Herbarium.  We decided in Committee that the best route would be to do a fundraiser.

I’ve been working with the Sudanese Student Organization (SUSA) to assess needs and find resources in the community for new immigrants from Sudan.  So far I’ve been talking with the Mankato Free Press to get information out to the public so they can help out.  On a related topic, I spoke to Todd Shanafelt who is director of the ceramics department and asked if he or the Mudworks Club could create some dinnerware for the new Sudanese families.  Tentatively we have a distribution date of 2/14/2005.

I’ve been meeting with members of the Biology Department in Trafton Hall who have disclosed to me that Trafton Hall is actually contaminated with asbestos in the paint on the walls.  Although they have been assured by buildings crew members that it is safe, there is a plan to remove the asbestos after the renovations to the Engineering department have been made.  I was initially going to start a petition of students working attending classes in Trafton so that Dr. Davenport would see that many students are not happy with the environment that they were placed in unknowingly.  I tipped the issue to the MSU Reporter, so look for an article soon, I hope. 
I am trying to contact Richard Charging eagle of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation to set up a link with the reservation for a “toys for tots” of sorts for his reservation.  Bronco LeBeau is from that reservation and since he is donating time  in our community, I figured that the MSU community could donate toys for youth on his reservation.  This is being coordinated with the Anthropology club.

I am also currently talking with Winona LaDuke and Will Antell about speaking at MSU next semester.  Winona LaDuke is an Ojibwe that is running program called White Earth Land Recovery Project.  In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time Magazine as one of America’s fifty most promising leaders less than forty years of age.  She has been awarded several times including the Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership Fellowship, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project.

Will Antell is an alumnus that received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Indian Education from the National Indian Education Association after spending over 40 years working with youth to improve educational opportunities.  He has a Master of Science degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Both speakers will be coordinated through the Anthropology Club and partnership with the American Indian Student Association.

There is dialog between Dr. Paul brown of the Anthropology Department and me about the possibilities of new scholarships in the Anthropology Department.  There is currently one for a graduate student.  The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has only one scholarship that is open to anyone without regards to gender or “service area.”  My hope is that more money is made available to the department for scholarships before the end of my two years here at MSU.

Finally, I would like to say thanks for being a part of this organization because it gives me a voice in the community.  Thanks to those who saw me as an asset to the Student Senate and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Vice President Bruner-Have you looked at the costs of switching from styrofoam?
Senator Brand-I have looked at this. 
Senator Pyzyk-Keep in mind that possibility of a new food contract and the type of trays, cups etc.
could be changing.

Academic Affairs Committee M#11.16.05D  PSEO

Whereas:                The Minnesota State Student Association does not find any necessary revisions in the Post Secondary Enrollment Options policy

Be It Resolved:       The Minnesota State Student Association moves to approve the Post Secondary Enrollment Options policy revisions.

Motion Passes

Academic Affairs Committee  M#11.16.05E  Effectiveness of Textbooks

Whereas:                The Rate Your Textbooks survey will be submitted to all students through Zoomerang Online Surveys.

Whereas:                Results from the survey will be used by student senators to gauge student opinions
                              on textbooks.

Whereas:                Results will be shared with Students4Students, for the purpose of a class project.


Be it Resolved:        The Minnesota State Student Association moves to endorse the survey entitled
                              “Effectiveness of Textbooks”

Senator Giese-Who will the results be released to?
Motion passes-3 abstentions


      Crawford Hall-Omolayo Ogunnowo
      I have been telling people on my floor that I am a senator and they can contact me with issues.
      I am working on Diversity on campus and have some students to work with me. 
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences –Josh Peterson
Last week I was at the meeting between representatives of MSU's administration, the Academic Affairs Committee, and a few members of the Interior Design program.  Although the meeting was intended to be a Q & A session between the senators and administration, it turned into a slightly more interrogation-like meeting between members of the ID program and Dean Frye and VP Scott Olson.   After listening to the concerns of the students in the program, VP Olson explained the reasons for suspending the ID program at MSU.  He said that for years the ID program has not been competitive with programs at other schools.  Furthermore the existence of the ID program would have put NASAD accreditation of many art programs at MSU in jeopardy.  VP Olson also explained that while enrollment was certainly not an issue in suspending the program, there are numerous other factors which need to be considered.  One of which would be the cost to not only secure NASAD accreditation, but also to improve the program to reach a competitive level with others.  He then explained the surplus of people looking for jobs in the ID field, and stated this is something which is considered in suspending a program.    In a follow up with VP Olson, he pointed out that while students within the program may not approve of the program's suspension, they may find that they will have much smaller class sizes toward the end of their time at MSU.  All students will have ample opportunity to graduate with an ID degree, and should have more access to its faculty members as the number of students in the program shrinks in the coming years.  Although it is never a good sight to see a university close an academic program, I would have to say I agree with the decision to suspend the program in its current form.  There are too many obstacles to tackle in order to salvage the program, meet NASAD accreditation, and make it competitive with other programs, than are possible to overcome at this point in time.

Off Campus-Matt Ward
I have been working on a few different things.  I am working with Senator Ross and others on issues in the diversity committee.  I have also been attending student affairs committee meetings.  Those have been of mixed success.  Sometimes people show, sometimes they don’t but we have been discussing many different topics such as student housing, smoking policy etc…  I have been named the Vice Chair of the Student Allocations Committee and have enjoyed my work with that committee up to this point even though it has basically just been dealing with travel funding requests.

Senator Bender-Tip Off Classis this weekend
Senator Brand-Tomorrow-Human Performance Club Fundraiser, traveling to Portugal.  All you
can eat Taco Bar at Bandana  $5.00
Senator Pederson-Benefit concert at the What’s Up.
Senator Afolayan-T shirts-polos, if you have an idea for a logo, contact me.
Senator Pyzyk-Hockey will be playing Madison this weekend.
Senator Giese-Tomorrow 9-2  Students for Social Action are putting together a Connect for Peace
President Wills-Happy Holidays

Roll Call
Senators Present
Elizabeth Zika-proxy Katie Hall, Haley Pederson, James Dye, Kevin Bender, Brandon Ross, Jenna Ault,
Melissa Turner, Kristeen Giese, Gabe Afolayan, Seye Ofunseye, Lisa Darvell, Marianne Reilly
Senators Absent
Cathy Cloran, Christopher Frederick, Josh Peterson, Sarah McLaughlin, Maria Schweer, Barbara Johnson, Jessica Cichy, Ian Boyd, Andrew Isker
Executive Staff Present
President Wills, Vice President Bruner

Adjournment   Meeting adjourned at 5:45 PM.