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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Alcohol ambiguity

MSSA requests ambiguous phrase be removed from off-campus alcohol policy

by Dannie Higginbotham

Issue date: 11/13/08 Section: Senate News and Notes
The Minnesota State Student Association elected a new off-campus senator during its meeting Wednesday.

Kris Lovstad, who also served on the 75th MSSA last year, filled the final vacant off-campus position. A spot remains open for Gage's Maverick Hall.

Lovstad based his platform on increasing the worth of a Mankato State degree, working on the parking problem around campus and promoting fiscal responsibility.

"I was one of the few senators last year who voted against the campus recreational proposal," Lovstad said.

Lovstad also supports implementing a transcript that not only shows potential employers what classes students took and what grades they received, but their community service and student organization as well.

Lovstad said he was glad to return to the senate.

"I'm here to voice the students' opinions and ensure they get what they pay for," Lovstad said.

The senate also passed a proposal requesting the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board of trustees repeal a phrase from their policy regarding off- campus conduct that the senate called too ambiguous.

The phrase states that Minnesota State may hold students accountable for behavioral violations if the violation adversely affects the educational, research or service functions of the university.

"That is the key phrase in the policy," said Off-Campus senator Andy Wilke. "It's the one that's so vague that the university can use it to mean almost anything."

MSSA believes that phrase is the one that allows the university to implement its current off-campus alcohol procedure.

Senate President Ryan Anderson said the university used this phrase as a loophole.

"A senator once said that the administration cannot be trusted," Anderson said. "I think policies as ambiguous as this allow for procedural changes that give the administration unchecked power. That doesn't necessarily mean always, but they could."

St. Cloud State University is experiencing similar issues in regard to its alcohol policy. The senate plans to address changing the Minnesota State policy at its MSUSA conference this weekend.

Allied Health and Nursing senator Robert Dooley said he would support a policy change at the conference.

"It would be an outstanding victory if this passed through Minnesota State," Dooley said.

Kelly Biers, chair of the Diversity Committee, gave the senate a presentation on accessibility around campus.

"Overall campus facilities are up-to-date on accessibility," Biers said. "Teachers are very accommodating for students with learning disabilities."

Biers said Diversity Week next week would include a panel called Diversability where students can offer their own input on issues regarding disabilities around campus.

 Dannie Higginbotham is a Reporter staff writer