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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Senate hears plans from new COB senator

Laptops, class size on new senator's agenda for college

by Brittney Hansen

Issue date: 1/31/08 Section: Senate News and Notes
The Minnesota State Student Association elected finance senior Jim Varner to the College of Business. Varner Wednesday, who is also a president of a fraternity at MSU and has served as it social host chair. Among his goals, he said he would like to restructure finance 395, which teaches useful life skills such as how to write a resume and how to respond in an interview. The class is currently a 300-student pass/fail class open only to COB students, and Varner would like to scale down classes to a more personal setting and open it to all university students.

"The biggest issue I see when I talk to my peers are frustrations with laptops, whether it's the wireless networks, students wanting to use their own laptop or Windows Vista," Varner said.

He added he would also address the mandatory laptops required for the College of Business and lobby for students to be able to choose their own or their own software. Varner added that he would be in favor of a minor fee to COB students to help with new facilities.

• For Brian Leonhardi, the third time was indeed the charm. The senior in economics and management was declared the new Social and Behavioral Sciences representative after previously running for two other senate positions. Leonhardi is the president of Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity. He is also a member of the Collegian Leadership program within the College of Business, is an advertising representative for the Reporter and is involved with many volunteer projects.

• Next week at senate, Vice President of Finance & Administration Rick Straka along with MSSA President Chris Frederick and Vice President Casey Carmody will give a presentation regarding the campus recreation proposal. Frederick said that since last year, nothing has physically changed about the proposal, but what has changed is who is paying for it. According to Frederick, administration has found other means of funding for much of the proposal, and the amount being asked from students has been cut in half. Frederick added this is not entirely the same proposal that came forth last year and would like to see a motion next week from senate to have this proposal presented to students at an open forum. Senate expects a resolution by mid-March.

In other senate news:

• MSU Reporter Business Manager Jane Tastad and Editor in Chief Bronson Pettitt presented the paper's current budget before student senate yesterday. The Reporter received $75,800 in SAC allocations for the 2007-2008 academic year. This, however, makes up less than one-fourth of the Reporter operating budget with 77 percent coming from self-generated revenue through ad revenue. This spring, the goal of the Reporter is to ask for less money in student fees.

The majority of all Reporter funds go to staff members and student help, which account for 68 percent of the total $326,150 budget. Printing costs (19 percent), postage, office supplies and equipment claim the remainder.

Last year the Reporter had a surplus of $60,414 that has been used for major office renovations, replacing four office computers and a laminator. This surplus will also cover revenue lost in ad sales this year. Ad sales are down $18,000 from where they were this time last year - which she said may be in part due to liquor stores and bars not realizing they were still allowed to advertise in the Reporter despite controversy with recent limitations on drinking by the community.

"Our ad reps called liquor stores and the response they heard was, 'Oh, we heard you couldn't take liquor ads anymore,'" Tastad said. "It's an important number for us."

Pettitt stressed how important it is to the university as a whole to have a college newspaper on campus.

He also explained how important the newspaper is to many students majoring in journalism, public relations, English, graphic design, business and marketing. The Reporter gives those students a chance to take skills learned in the classroom and give them real world applications.

"The Reporter is hands-down the best experience a communications student can get at MSU. The Reporter does give them a leg up in their professional experience and getting an internship, which is difficult because it's such a competitive field," Pettitt said.

Students associated with the Reporter have gone on to work for the Mankato Free Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and even the Washington Post, Pettitt said.

He added that the Reporter won on Friday 11 awards at the Minnesota Newspaper Association's College Better Newspaper Contest, competing against other public and private college and university newspapers. Honors included best general advertising, best photography and best general reporting.

• SAC allocated $1,000 to IFC/Pan-Hellenic Council for twenty students to travel to the Mid American Greek Council Association Conference in Chicago, Ill.

• SAC allocated $400 to the Handball Club to attend the US Handball Association's National Collegiate Championship. This allocation will cover a portion of the travel expenses for four students and two faculty members.

• MSSA reminded all students, staff and faculty that Super Tuesday is Feb. 5 at Mankato East High School from 6:30-7:59 p.m. for Democrats and Republicans and at Mankato West High School for Independents.

• Caucus training will be held today at 4 p.m. in Armstrong Hall 211. Topper's Pizza will be provided and all students are encouraged to attend.

Brittney Hansen is a Reporter assistant news editor