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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Seats still open

Music ensembles show fast growth

by Brittney Hansen

Issue date: 11/1/07 Section: Senate News

MSSA is still looking to fill vacancies in graduate studies and undeclared positions. Those positions could be a little more enticing if students interested in filling those positions were to also apply for the currently vacant Academic Affairs Coordinator position. Student senators holding coordinator positions are to receive $1,000 a year, or $500 per semester, in the proposed 2007-08 MSSA budget.

MSSA represents MSU students at the institutional, local, state and federal levels and has made one of its main goals for the year to advocate for an affordable education at the university and state governing levels. MSSA and MSUSA members are lobbying for a one-percent tuition buy-down, which would slow tuition increase rates to only three percent instead of four percent. Student senate also promotes an increase of student awareness, student leadership and student involvement in all facets of student life.

MSSA President Chris Frederick is to receive $7,000 in the proposed budget, Vice President Casey Carmody is to receive $6,000 and Speaker Ryan Anderson is to receive $4,000. MSSA is asking to receive a grand total of $85,369 this year as well as $14,200.99 to hire a new administrative assistant to overlap the final semester of the current administrative assistant before she retires this next year.

In other senate news:

• Dr. John Lindberg presented on behalf of the MSU Music Ensembles on Wednesday. These ensembles provide members with opportunities to get together with other students with an interest in musical performance while also providing opportunities for students and community members to attend these musical events. MSU currently hosts 22 ensembles that conduct 75 or more performances each year.

Student involvement in music ensembles is up 120 members from last year with 80 percent of the members this year being non-music majors. "They're looking for an opportunity to be involved on campus as well as an outlet for musical performance," said Lindberg. He projects annual audience numbers to be around 10,000 at the Performance Arts Center, Centennial Student Union and other locations on-campus. The Athletic Ensemble serves an additional 100,000 between football games, basketball games, hockey games and other MSU athletic events. "We provide service in many other ways other than simply giving concerts on the recital hall stage," said Lindberg, "energy and enthusiasm are twice as great when the band is at the game."

This year the music ensembles are asking for $76,500 in allocation of student activity fees. "We tend to get a small increase each year, the year before it was 74,000 so we've had an increase of $2,500," he said. He reported that SAF allocation only represents 3.3 percent of their total budget, but without those funds, the music ensembles could not function. Lindberg also mentioned that they have seen a significant increase in the number of students involved and instead of having one jazz band of 15 members they now have two large jazz bands and various smaller ensembles. The music ensembles also include Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band, Orchestra, Concert Choir, Opera Workshops, men and women's chorales and vocal jazz ensembles. Money will be used for sheet music, mailing and printing services, technical service, student travel, instrument rentals and repairs, piano tuning, dry cleaning and work-study programs. The ensembles also generate some of their own money through ticket sales.

• Steve Smith presented on behalf of the Student Activity Fund Administration. "We're a business support for all of the activities that fall under SAF as well as the CSU facility fees," said Smith. SAF Administration provides business support, helps collect money, does the accounting, pays bills, provides budgetary control and provides internal auditing. This year the SAF Administration is asking for $197,285 with 67.3 percent of that going towards staff salaries and fringe expenses.

Brittney Hansen is a Reporter staff writer