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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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MSSA?Hears Legislative Update on Tuition

by Emmeline Elliott

Issue date: 4/5/07 Section: Senate Notes

Tuition and the environment were two topics the Minnesota State Student Association heard about at its meeting yesterday.

Vice President of Finance and Administration Rick Straka visited the student senate to update them on the progress the state legislature is making concerning higher education funding.

Higher education committees are proposing significantly increased funding for institutions and Straka said he believed a 4 percent tuition increase would be reasonable and the likelihood to ask for a tuition increase above that amount has decreased.

He said that enrollment of new students this year fell by 150 students compared to last year, but he said increasing newly enrolled students by 150 next year would be practical.

The MSSA also heard a presentation about the sustainability of the campus from Students for Sustainability officer Mark Schiller.

Schiller presented a petition with 1,014 signatures from Minnesota State students, staff and faculty that demanded the institution take responsibility for its impact on global climate change. Schiller said the petition specifically used the word "demand" as a call to action and as something that the signers definitely want to happen.

A purpose of the petition is to create a working group with representatives from the offices of facilities planning and management, finance and administration, dining services and faculty from the colleges of science and engineering to take inventory on greenhouse gas emissions by MSU and formulate projects to eventually reduce those gases to zero.

Schiller said the group would work to generate and install simple ideas that would be sustainable and economically feasible so as to reduce waste and not cause an increase in tuition. He gave one idea of students in dorm cafeterias having reusable bottles students instead of styrofoam cups. Schiller said this action would save about $20,321 a year "and a lot of waste."

Schiller said that as a higher education institution, MSU should take the initiative in combating the affects of its emissions on the globe.

"We should set the example," Schiller said. "We should be the most green."

Also, Off-Campus Senator Jason Schilling was elected as treasurer for the Minnesota State Colleges & Tuition at the organization's meeting last weekend.

In other news, elections for next year's candidates and the referendum for the outdoor campus recreation proposal will be Tuesday, April 10. Voting takes place online at from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Emmeline Elliott is a Reporter staff writer