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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Got Gripes

Students filled MSSA's gripe boards with a wide array of complaints and suggestions

by Derek Wehrwein

Issue date: 11/18/08 Section: Senate News and Notes
One person wanted beer in the Centennial Student Union. Another lamented the lack of cute guys on campus.

The Minnesota State Student Association probably can't do much about those two issues. But the MSSA's "Got A Gripe" campaign still produced a variety of helpful feedback on issues it can do something about - or at least take seriously.

The "Got A Gripe" boards, which were stationed in the CSU for "Meet Your Senator Week," prompted responses on everything from the above-mentioned beer and boys to such topics as prices, food options, on-campus jobs and unfair salaries.

"Some of the things were very logical, and some of the comments were just ridiculous, but we kind of expected a few of those," said MSSA Vice President Murtaza Rajabali.

Rajabali indicated that comments, suggestions and complaints about CSU-related issues will be forwarded to the CSU Board, while other feedback will be given to Student Affairs to examine. In addition, the MSSA will discuss the "Got A Gripe" results at its Wednesday meeting.

Most student feedback centered around the CSU, food services and meal plans. Several people said the current school smoking policy - no smoking within 15 feet of all university entrances - should be better enforced. Others complained about the quality of available food options, the lack of food options in general and the prices of those options.

A number of students said the CSU should stay open 24 hours a day or at least until 2 a.m., which Rajabali said was "a good comment" but probably wouldn't happen because of the operating costs involved. He agreed that food in the CSU is "way too expensive" and that the prices are worth examining.

MSSA wasn't immune from criticism, either, with one person requesting that it "do something for the students." Rajabali took issue with that comment.

"I'm assuming they don't know what we've been doing, because we've been doing a lot for the students," he said. "Maybe not up to their expectations, but we're doing the best we can."

Other comments students wrote down included:

Under "Financial Aid/On-campus Jobs," criticism about pay rates, both in general and between males and females.

Under "Residential Life," complaints about the condition of McElroy and the cost of living on campus.

Under "Student Union," complaints about a lack of comfortable seating and a request for more live music.

Under "Food Services/Meal Plan," requests for more vegan options, more variety, cheaper options and a complaint about expired products being sold and slow service on the weekends.

Derek Wehrwein is the Reporter editor in chief