Driving Change in Higher Education.

Association News

Big announcement, summer events, and much more!

Association Update 05-01-17

MSCSA Association Update - April 2017
MSCSA Association Update - April 2017

Upcoming Events:

Ice Cream Social -
May 2017

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017
Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Location: LeadMN Office,
1515 South Robert St, West St. Paul, MN 55118

Learning Center Grand Opening - June 2017

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2017
Time: 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Location: LeadMN Office,
1515 South Robert St, West St. Paul, MN 55118
Internship Opportunities
OER Interns: We are also offering an unpaid internship for students that are interested in working on Open Education Resources (OERs) and online textbooks. Textbooks, on average, account for 22% of students’ cost of attendance. Open Education Resources (OERs) and online textbooks have the potential to make a big impact on college cost for students. This internship will be research based and will include a faculty outreach component.
Minneapolis & St. Paul GOTV Interns: Are you interested in community engagement? Then the Get Out the Vote internship is right for you. This is a paid internship that will allow you to use your passion to increase student voter turnout and build up the power of student voices in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Get Out the Vote intern will help lead GOTV efforts at Minneapolis Community and Technical College or Saint Paul College. They will learn how to create an engagement plan, recruit volunteers, and how to execute their engagement plan. This position consists of hands-on experience and will provide them with a valuable leadership position.
If you are interested in any of the above internships please contact LeadMN Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck at sbeck@mscsa.org.

2016-17 Star Campus Winners!

We would like to recognize and congratulate the following campuses on reaching star campus status!
1st year winners:
  • Minnesota West Community and Technical College-Pipestone
  • Riverland Community and Technical College-Austin
  • Saint Could Technical and Community College
3rd year winners:
  • Century College
4th year winners:
  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College-Cambridge
  • South Central College-Faribault
5th year winners:
  • Inver Hills Community College
6th year winners:
  • Anoka Technical College
  • Normandale Community College
7th year winners:
  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College-Coon Rapids
  • Dakota County Technical College

Want to get involved?
Join the Summer
Leadership Team!

The 2017 Summer Leadership Trainings (SLT) will give you the opportunity to create change. Not only will you be given training to further your leadership journey, but you will also apply those skills to help make textbooks more affordable. This summer we will work towards spreading the use of Open Education Resources (free to low cost online textbooks) across our state. If you are interested, contact Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck (sbeck@mscsa.org) or join the Facebook group.

Summer Office Hours

Starting Monday, May 29 through Monday, September 4, LeadMN summer office hours will be in affect. The hours are below.
Monday - Thursday:
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

MSCSA is now LeadMN!

LeadMN logo Since last September, the MSCSA Branding Committee has been hard at work rebranding the Minnesota State College Student Association into an organization that a new generation of students can connect with. The branding committee was made up of three students from around the state of Minnesota, along with Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen, and MSCSA staff. The students determined early in the process that a name change was necessary in order to better represent the organization.
The rebranding process is ongoing. We will be rolling out the new logo and new website throughout the summer. If you have any questions about the MSCSA rebrand, please contact LeadMN Communications and Office Coordinator Courtney Brockman at 651-203-9461 or cbrockman@mscsa.org.
Warehouse Image 1 Warehouse Image 2 Warehouse Image 3

Look at the progress!

Last Association Update, we told you that construction was just beginning in the warehouse. How a month changes everything! The garage doors are gone, stadium seating has been built, and the old front office entrance is now a closet! We will be sure to continue to update you on the warehouse progress on our Facebook page, but if you are interested in viewing the newly renovated space be sure to join us Saturday, June 24 at the Learning Center Grand Opening! During this event you will have the opportunity to view our new space, enjoy lunch, and talk with friends of LeadMN. We can't wait to see you there!

The latest at the capitol!

The Minnesota legislature is heading fast toward May and the end of regular session. At this time, the House and the Senate have each prepared an omnibus bill for Higher Education.

An omnibus bill essentially means many bills rolled into one bill. In order for the omnibus bill to be considered by the Governor, the House and the Senate must align their two bills into one.

In order to get two bills into one, the House and the Senate have appointed 5 conferees from each body for a total of 10 legislators to serve on the Higher Education Conference Committee.

This conference committee will meet to negotiate and iron out the disputed legislation between the two bills to create a single Higher Education bill. Once that happens, the bill will go to the House and Senate floors for a 3rd and final reading.

Once the bill is voted on, it heads to Governor Dayton for his signature. From the time that it reaches his desk, the Governor has three options:
1. Sign the bill into law.
2. Veto the bill (requiring the legislature to create a new bill).
3. Not sign it. If a bill remains unsigned for 72 hours, it becomes law by default.

We anticipate that the current bill’s financial targets are too low for the Governor to approve. How much money that legislators will appropriate will be a large part of the conference negotiations.

If you have any questions, please contact LeadMN Director of Government Relations Angelique McDonald at 651-203-9458 or amcdonald@mscsa.org.
Spring GA photo one Spring GA photo two Spring GA photo three

An energetic Spring
General Assembly!

The LeadMN General Assembly took place on April 21-23 in Breezy Point to elect next years Cabinet, Governing Council, and Platform Committee positions, and to celebrate the past year. The students enjoyed an awards dinner, an advocacy game, and fun activities throughout the weekend. Find out more information about next year's student leadership team and view the 2017 Awards Dinner recipients.
Spring GA photo four Spring GA photo five Spring GA photo six

Groots volunteer of the month: Charles Karter!

Charles Karter photoOnce a month we will be showcasing a student that has done excellent work with our Groots initiative. The Groots initiative is a grass roots campaign to get students involved in building support for an issue by showing legislators how many people a certain problem effects. This month LeadMN is highlighting Charles Karter, a student senator Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Passion, a simple enough word that is full of meaning, and happens to describe Charles Karter. Charles is a U.S. Army veteran attending MCTC and working towards his AAS in CNC Machinery. In college, Charles is involved in many different environmental clubs, such as the Urban Farm Collective, 3 Legged Frog sustainability club, and the administrations sustainability committee; all of which are intertwined with the Director of Health and Sustainability, the student senate position which Charles currently holds.

Like many senators, getting involved in senate introduced Charles to LeadMN. Since his introduction, Charles has stayed involved in LeadMN because he found it to be a “valuable institution in protecting students, has grown my personal development, and gave me avenues to interact with legislators.” Charles stays involved through advocating events, participating in GOTV, attending conferences, and campus promotional events.

The Groots campaign has greatly helped Charles interact with every level of the government, and has given him ample opportunity for personal and community development. “Many of the LeadMN campaigns are similar. You plan objectives around an important issue, implement the objectives, and then inform and motivate others to support you.” Charles has found that students easily connect to this Groots campaign because spending more on tuition is bad and spending less on tuition is good. Who can argue that logic?

Talking with Charles about the Groots campaign and all he’s involved in, it’s clear Charles has passion for what he does. And when a person has passion for what they do, they get results. The Groots campaign is in good hands with Charles leading the way at MCTC.

“The Groots campaign isn't a silo; it's like the name of our weekly meetings, so it's hard to talk about it in particular. Its identity is fluid. Hence I talk about MSCSA more generally, because everything they do is somewhat intertwined. It's all the same people, and focus, improving the lives of students, be it your own or others. It's been a privilege to be a part of, and I'd like to thank them for the opportunities.”

Announcing the 2017 Mark W. Welter 100% American scholarship recipients!

LeadMN is proud to announce the five recipients for the 2017 spring semester Mark M. Welter 100% American Scholarship.
  • Emily L. Potter, Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Tazrian Ahmed, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Morgan Elizabeth LeBrun, Minnesota West Community & Technical College
  • Claire T. Drake, Saint Paul College
  • Aaron Bible, Southwest Minnesota State University
Congratulations to all of you and thank you Dr. Welter for your commitment to our students!


Big changes are occurring at the MSCSA office, scholarships are due April 1, and much more!

Association Update 03-27-17

MSCSA Association Update - March 2017
MSCSA Association Update - March 2017

Upcoming Events:

Spring General Assembly - April 2017

Date: April 21-23, 2017
Location: Breezy Point Resort - Breezy Point, MN
Register by Tuesday, April 4!
Budget Consultaion Video

Spring General Assembly is almost here!

In honor of Spring GA, check out our video explaining what each elected position is responsible for!
MSCSA Scholarships

Scholarships are due April 1!

Scholarship application deadlines are quickly approaching, and you don’t want to miss out. Apply now for any of the open scholarships through MSCSA or Students United.
  • MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
  • John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund
  • Irja Sundgren Pratt Memorial Scholarship
  • Barbara J. Penny Community Service Scholarship
  • Timothy J. Penny Public Service State Fellowship
  • Timothy J. Penny Public Service Federal Fellowship
  • Elizabeth Pegues Scholarship Matching Program for Students of Color
  • Friends Scholarship
  • Hull Educational Foundation Scholarship
  • Jared P. Stene Student Leadership Scholarship
Please note that the requirements of these scholarships will vary. More information can be found on the MSCSA and Students United websites. If you have any questions, please contact Development Assistant Joyce Petsch at 651-203-9464 or jpetsch@mscsa.org.

Attention student senate presidents!

Every year student senates have the opportunity to consult with their campus administration on the campus’ budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. In the spring, student senate presidents then write a letter to the Minnesota State Chancellor and Board of Trustees describing how that process went for that year.

The first draft of your budget consultation letter is due to the MSCSA office for review and feedback by Monday, April 3, please email the letter to Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck (sbeck@mscsa.org). If you have any questions, please contact Samantha.

The deadline has been extended!

You have until March 31 to submit your workshops for the Leadership Certificate program! In order to receive recognition, you must have attended at least three workshops in each of the four topic areas (Cultural Intelligence, Leadership Development, Advocacy and Campaigns, and Professional Advancement). The topics of each workshop were designated on the itineraries at each conference throughout the year. Submissions will only be accepted via the online form. Hurry, you have until Friday, March 31!

Legislative update from
the state capitol!

The Minnesota House and Senate are expected to vote on the Higher Education omnibus bills this week. The bills will fund the state financial aid programs, Minnesota State system, and the University of Minnesota for the next two years. It will include some policy changes to how higher education operates in Minnesota. An omnibus bill is essentially many small bills that are compiled into one large bill.
The House and the Senate have different versions of these education omnibus bills and this means that conference committee will be created to negotiate the differences.
One of MSCSA’s top priorities, to reform developmental education, is in the Senate bill. This legislation is a huge step towards helping students navigate their way through dev ed courses and allows for multiple measures to be implemented before placement into dev ed. We are very excited to see this language in the education omnibus bill and would like to thank Rep. Zerwas, Rep. Bernardy, Sen. Abeler and Sen. Claussen for their help, carrying our bills! Developmental education reform is not the only MSCSA priority that had been included in the omnibus bills.
The House and Senate have prioritized affordability in the omnibus bills with a 1% tuition cut in the House bill and a tuition freeze in the Senate bill. It will be important to remind legislators about the importance of Minnesota’s community and technical colleges over the next several weeks. The Minnesota State system office needs more funding to support the valuable academic programs that it offers students.
It is important to note that both the House and Senate Higher Education omnibus bills did not meet the financial requests of Minnesota State. Governor Dayton included almost double the amount of funding in his budget proposal, which the House and the Senate appear to have initially disregarded.

Continue to follow the MSCSA social media accounts for the latest at the capitol!

MSCSA warehouse construction is underway!

Big things are happening at the MSCSA office! Last Monday, March 20 construction began in the warehouse with the demolition of the large wall that spanned the space. Since then construction has kept moving forward, with the ceiling being painted next and the risers being built. The renovation is projected to take about eight weeks, and upon completion, it’ll be a whole new space. As the project continues, we will be updating you with photos and announcements, so watch our Facebook page for the latest on this exciting time!

D.C. Summit 2017 a success!

Another triumphant D.C. Summit is in the books! Students learned valuable insights from national nonprofits that work on higher education issues that affect students from across the country. They also had the opportunity to share their stories with the Minnesota congressional delegation and Senator Al Franken’s staff. While in D.C., students were able to form valuable relationships with their legislators and higher education focused nonprofits. The 2017 D.C. Summit was a success and we are looking forward to next year’s trip!

Groots volunteer of the month: Asha Hurreh!

Once a month we will be showcasing a student that has done excellent
work with our Groots initiative. The Groots initiative is a grass roots campaign to get students involved in building support for an issue by showing legislators how many people a certain problem effects. This month MSCSA is highlighting Asha Hurreh, a student senator at Normandale Community College.

If you’ve ever been stopped on Normandale Community College campus and asked to sign a letter to your legislator requesting them to support a 1% tuition cut, you may have been stopped by Asha Hurreh, and she doesn’t even have to pay tuition yet.

Asha is an 11th grade PSEO (Postsecondary Enrollment Options) student who is in her second semester at Normandale Community College. She joined student senate last semester when MSCSA Treasurer Isaac Jahraus convinced her to go to a meeting to see what it was about. Asha realized that by joining she would have a voice on campus and she could represent a group of the many minorities that attend Normandale Community College.

Last fall, Asha became a GOTV intern at MSCSA and asked students to pledge to vote. She really enjoyed the work and found that tabling is a successful way to talk with a lot of students. “The hardest part of tabling is initially approaching students, but once you get going, students usually agree with what you are saying, and if not that’s okay.” Since last fall, Asha has taken what she learned about tabling and is now using that method to grow support for the Groots campaign.

From the beginning of the campaign, Asha has been working hard to get signatures to show support for a 1% tuition cut. “For many students as soon as I say ‘cut tuition’ they ask where they should sign. They agree that tuition is too high.”

Asha has been supporting the Groots campaign not only on campus, but she also spent her spring break gathering signatures from around her community. She went back to her high school during parent-teacher conferences, and her and a friend went to their different places of worship to ask people for their support.

“There are so many people that have to pay tuition and also have other responsibilities like full-time jobs and taking care of family. By helping now to make change, I hope that when I get into their shoes I won’t have these same worries.”

Announcing the 2017 Mark W. Welter World Citizen award recipients!

Congratulations to the twenty students who were awarded $500 from the Mark W. Welter World Citizen Award.
  • Cassandra Bauer, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Brooke Moren, Central Lakes College
  • Breezy (Sabrina) Cephus, Century College
  • Rakhi Penugonda, Dakota Technical College
  • Ashlyn Anderson, Hennepin Technical College
  • Jake Ray, Hibbing Community College
  • Alexander Anderson, Lake Superior College
  • Cole Jensen, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
  • James E. Morse, Metropolitan State University
  • Babra Mumia, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Evariste Busanga, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
  • Gulmira Fazilova, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Tanner Jo Gunnink, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • Alyssa Hinderscheid, Normandale Community College
  • Deborah Nesheim, North Hennepin Community College
  • Sarah Solomon, Northland Community & Technical College
  • Hannah L. Mollhoff, Pine Technical College
  • Okeyemi Onireti, Riverland Community College
  • Raxson Rax, Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Nicholas Holtz, Vermilion Community College
Thank you Dr. Welter for your commitment to our students!

Take the next step in your leadership journey, nominate someone for an award, and much more!

Association Update 02-27-17

MSCSA Association Update - February 2017
MSCSA Association Update - February 2017

Upcoming Events:

D.C. Summit 2017

Date: March 18-21, 2017
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Smithsonian - Washington, D.C.

Spring General Assembly - April 2017

Date: April 21-23, 2017
Location: Breezy Point Resort - Breezy Point, MN
Register by Tuesday, April 4!
Urge your state legislators to help make college more affordable with a 1% tuition cut.

Send letters to
your legislators!

Students all throughout Minnesota have done a lot of work telling legislators their personal stories to advocate for a 1% tuition cut. Having so many students meet with their legislators on Advocacy Day showed the capitol how many students high tuition impacts. But our work is not yet done. We need to continue to have a presence in the minds of legislators by asking students to sign letters to their legislators and share their stories. When legislators realize how many of their constituents an issue impacts, that issue becomes a priority for that legislator. Tell your legislator how high tuition impacts you.
Write your legislators!
Star Campus.

It's not too late:
Earn your stars!

Many deadlines for Star Campus 2017 have not yet passed! Make sure you submit your stars; many of the criteria are not hard to meet. View the full Star Campus criteria and decide what your campus can complete. Deadline to submit criteria for Star Campus is Friday, March 24. If you have any questions, contact MSCSA Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen at prc@mscsa.org.
Submit your star!

It's that time of year again: Budget consultation!

For resources to write your letter, visit the MSCSA website.

Please submit the first draft of your budget consultation letter to the MSCSA Office by April 3, 2017 by emailing it to sbeck@mscsa.org.
Your final draft is due to the Minnesota State System Office by April 24, 2017. You will email it to Rosa Melin (rosa.melin@so.mnscu.edu), please also CC the MSCSA office (sbeck@mscsa.org) and your campus president.
MSCSA Scholarships

Now accepting applications for scholarships!

MSCSA is now accepting applications for fall 2017 scholarships. Open scholarships include:
  • MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
  • John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund
  • Irja Sundgren Pratt Memorial Scholarship

Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2017. If you have any questions please view MSCSA's website or email MSCSA Development Assistant Joyce Petsch at jpetsch@mscsa.org.

Submit your workshops for the Leadership Certificate Program!

One of the missions of our organization is to develop our students’ leadership skills. This year, we have continued to do this through educating students in the areas of cultural intelligence (C), leadership development (L), advocacy and campaigns (A), and professional advancement (P).

In order to receive recognition, you must have attended at least three workshops in each of the above topic areas for the year. The topics of each workshop were designated on the itineraries at each conference throughout the year.

Submissions will only be accepted via the online form. All submissions must be submitted no later than March 6, 2017.
MSCSA Facebook MSCSA Twitter MSCSA LinkedIn
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to receive updates, exciting stories, and view pictures from our conferences and events!
Apply for a leadership position today!

Run for a MSCSA
leadership position!

Are you ready to take the next step in your leadership journey? We are now accepting applications for President, Vice President, Public Relations Coordinator, Treasurer, Governing Council Student-At-Large, and Platform Committee Student-At-Large. In accordance with MSCSA’s bylaws, applications will be accepted until Friday, March 24 at 5:00 PM. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Mike Dean at 651-203-9454 or mdean@mscsa.org.

In order to run for a position, an electronic application must be completed and an eligibility authorization form needs to be submitted to the MSCSA office. If you are mailing the eligibility authorization form, it must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 21.
Run for a leadership position today!

A successful Advocacy
Day 2017!

This year’s Advocacy Day was a HUGE success! Students spent Monday training with staff and Cabinet and got the opportunity to meet higher education chairs Sen. Michelle Fischbach and Rep. Bud Nornes.
With almost 70 meetings set up between the House and the Senate, MSCSA hit the capitol on Tuesday. Students carried the message of a 1% tuition cut for 2-year colleges, as well as reform for developmental education. 
MSCSA’s message was well received and students had the opportunity to share their personal stories with their legislators. Many students were also able to take a tour of the newly remodeled state capitol.
In the afternoon, students were able to visit the Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee. At the meeting, students were able to hear testimony and were recognized by the Chair, Rep. Nornes. To complete the day, a small group of students were able to place a MSCSA sponsored bill into the “hopper”.
MSCSA would like to take a moment to recognize the author’s of our legislative bills: Sen. Miller, Sen. Abeler, Sen. Claussen, Rep. Zerwas, Rep. Christensen, & Rep. Bernardy.
Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the day a success!

Groots volunteer of the month: Matthew Stonich!

Matthew Stonich imageOnce a month we will be showcasing a student that has done excellent work with our Groots initiative. The Groots initiative is a grass roots campaign to get students involved in building support for an issue by showing legislators how many people a certain problem effects. This month MSCSA would like to highlight Matthew Stonich, student senate president of Mesabi Range College-Eveleth.

Matt is graduating from the Graphic Media Designs, Visual Communications program at Mesabi Range College-Eveleth this coming May. After graduation, Matt plans on finding a job with an advertising firm in Duluth, MN. Graphic design started out as a hobby, one Matt didn’t think he could make a career out of. So he started at Hibbing Community College and while taking an accounting class, he realized it just was not working for him. “My dad told me, ‘do what you want to do with your life,’” Matt said. It was this advice that made him realize he could take his passion and turn it into his career. This led Matt to Mesabi Range College-Eveleth and the school’s student senate.

Through getting involved in his school’s student senate, Matt was able to meet and talk with a lot of people on campus. These connections made him want other students to get involved in the school and help bring the campus together.

For Matt, being involved in the Groots initiative allows him to meet other students on his campus. “Everyone knows we have a student senate, but they don’t know what we do. I’m trying to show we are more than a group of friends meeting, we are making change.” Every student on-campus, even those that are not involved, has seen Matt around campus. He has run activities, done class raps, and anything else he can to get other students involved on campus.

A 1% tuition cut is important because if there was lower tuition, students could work less, allowing them to be more involved on campus, in the form of clubs and organizations through their programs. The more student involvement, the more opportunities there is to bring in speakers, go to expos, and meet potential employers. Doing these things will make students more successful and will build the Mesabi Range College-Eveleth campus.

“Being involved in student senate and the Groots initiative allows me to get out on campus and meet everyone. All together we can build a stronger campus and community.”
Nominate someone for a MSCSA award!

Help make our Annual Awards Dinner a success!

During every Spring General Assembly, MSCSA hosts an awards dinner where we recognize the people that have gone above and beyond during the past year. Do you know anyone that deserves recognition? Submit a nomination in one of the categories below.

Student Awards:
Student Leader of the Year: This award recognizes some one who has excelled both academically, in the association, and in their community. This individual should be someone who has risen above all other students both in their actions and their attitude to bring their campus, the association, and the community together as well as give back to each of these communities.

Governing Council Member of the Year: This is a Governing Council member who displays many great qualities within the association. They have exemplified the ideals of the organization, built relationship and effective teams within their region and have gone above their call to serve our students.

Platform Committee Member of the Year: This award honors a Platform Committee member who has dedicated their time and effort to research and develop a working knowledge of the issues facing our students, our legislative agenda, and then spend time educating the students of their region.

Student Senate of the Year: Each year we honor one senate for taking their work above and beyond the call of duty. Past winners have had significant impact on their communities and campuses. In many cases, they have changed the lives of countless amounts of students for the better.

Minnesota State Committee Member of the Year: Minnesota State committees are some of the most important venues for change across the state. Students who serve on these committees are essential in ensuring students have a voice on a variety of topics. Nominees should be students who have served or are serving on a Minnesota State committee this year.

Non-Student Awards:
Alumni Member of the Year: The Alumni of the Year award is to honor an alumni member of our organization. Nominees should have a continued and lasting impact on the lives of students or their community in ways that honor the mission and values of MSCSA.

College President of the Year: This award honors the exemplary work of a college president within the 2-year colleges of the Minnesota State system. A nominee should display the qualities of being available to students for consultation and willing to discuss issues that affect the student body throughout the decision making process. Furthermore, a nominee should be proactive in wanting to create a welcoming and team environment for all cohorts of their college.

Instructor of the Year: An instructor deserving of this prestigious award is one that not only connects with their students to deliver the subject material, but also does it in ways that allows students of all learning methods to succeed. Previous award recipients have used creativity through technology and teaching styles to show students new learning methods that have shown high success rates in their class. Furthermore, past award recipients have ensured students have the support they need both in class and outside of class to provide them the best opportunity to excel in their college careers.

Student Senate Advisor of the Year: This award honors a student senate advisor who has gone above and beyond the daily roles and responsibilities of advising the student senate on their operations and serving as their advocate. An advisor of the year is one that also serves as a mentor to student leaders in ways that allow them to grow in their education and careers.

Nominations are due by Friday, March 24. Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
Nominate someone for a MSCSA award!

Meet our new staff and cabinet members, the legislative session, and much more!

Association Update 01-30-17

MSCSA Association Update - January 2017
MSCSA Association Update - January 2017

Upcoming Events:

Chancellor Search Forums

Date: February 8, 2017
Location: TBD
Meet with the candidates to be the new Chancellor of the Minnesota State system.

Advocacy Day 2017

Date: February 20-21, 2017
Location: Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge - St. Paul, MN
Register by January 31!

D.C. Summit 2017

Date: March 18-21, 2017
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Smithsonian - Washington, D.C.
Register by February 13!

Earn your stars!

Don't forget to participate in
Star Campus! Many of the deadlines have not yet passed; it is not too late to earn your campus a star! If you have any questions please contact MSCSA Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen at 651-203-9457 or prc@mscsa.org. Make sure to watch MSCSA's Facebook page for regular updates on campus progress.

Now Accepting Fall 2017 Scholarship Applications

MSCSA is now accepting applications for the following
four scholarships through
April 1, 2017. These scholarships will be awarded for the fall 2017 semester.
  • MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
  • John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund
  • Irja Sundgren Pratt Memorial Scholarship
MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
This scholarship rewards emerging student leaders for their community services for both two-year college and four-year university students.

Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
This scholarship is for students who demonstrate leadership in academics, extracurricular activities, and community or national service. Priority given to those who are serving or have served in good standing in any branch of the U.S. Military or other U.S. national service and have exhausted federal and state service related education benefits excluding the Minnesota GI Bill.

John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund Scholarship
The endowed fund provides students with funds for tool purchases required for
Minnesota State students completing a technical course in Technical/ Management/Trades, with an emphasis in HVAC (heating, ventilation,
air conditioning).

Irja Sundgren Pratt
Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is given
annually to a student enrolled
at any college within the Northeast Higher Education District and who has completed at least one semester of
course-work at the college.
For more information please visit our website.

10th Annual Scholarship Gala
a success!

Thank you to everyone who donated to or attended our 10th Annual Scholarship Gala on January 6! Together we helped raise over $10,000, which allowed us to give 13 Minnesota State students scholarships! Every one of the recipients is a student leader in their community and is committed to making it a better place. Thank you for
your generosity!
MSCSA will work hard to continue furthering student success and achievement through scholarships.
We hope you can join us at
next years Scholarship Gala on Friday, January 5, 2018.

Now seeking 2017 MSCSA Annual Award Nominations!

The annual awards dinner is a highlight of the MSCSA Spring General Assembly and we need your help! Do you know individuals that went the extra mile this year? Nominate them for an award! The nomination process is simple: submit a brief letter of nomination and any supporting materials that you want to provide via the link below. We are counting on you!
Student Awards
  • Student Leader of the Year
  • Governing Council Member of the Year
  • Platform Representative of the Year
  • Student Senate of the Year
  • Minnesota State Committee Member of the Year
Non-Student Awards
  • Alumni Member of the Year
  • College President of the Year
  • Student Senate Advisor of the Year
  • Instructor of the Year
Nominations are due by Friday, March 24, 2017.
Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
Nominate here!

A look at the
legislative session

Last week, Governor Mark Dayton gave his “State of the State” address, where he committed to helping students struggling to afford skyrocketing tuition costs. The next day, he released his recommendation for his biennial budget, which calls for an additional $125 million in base funding over the next biennium for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The governor also included $25 million over the biennium to fund improvements to the Integrated Statewide Record System (ISRS), which is the backend database for many student services, such as applications, registration, course scheduling, housing, financial aid, transcripts, and more. The governor’s budget recommendation funded approximately 84% of what the Minnesota State system was requesting.
Following the governor’s recommendations, Minnesota State presented its legislative agenda to the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. Minnesota State requested an increase of $178 million in their budget request for FY2018-19. Affordability is a top priority for our students. The request for new funding will support a two-year tuition freeze helping students with the ever-growing costs related to attending community and technical colleges. While legislators are currently busy with overviews of different state departments, budget bills will start moving after the February budget forecast comes out in early March.

Minnesota State is also requesting over $200 million in general-obligation bonding, including $142 million for 18 major capital projects and $110 million for asset preservation. User financing of $48 million would cover the total difference.

The breakdowns of some of the governor’s proposed projects are as follows:
  • South Central College, North Mankato - STEM and Healthcare Design and Renovation 6.4 million North Mankato Nicollet Southwest Greater MN
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls - Center for Student and Workforce Success Design and Renovation 652,000.00 Fergus Falls Otter Tail Central Greater MN
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena - Library and Student Development Design and Renovation 547,000.00 Wadena Central Greater MN
  • Northland Community and Technical College, East Grand Forks - Laboratory Design and Renovations 551,000.00 Grand Forks Polk Northwest Greater MN
  • Bemidji State University - Academic Learning Center (Hagg Sauer Replacement) Design and Renovation 12.6 million Bemidji Beltrami Northwest
  • Rochester Community and Technical College - Memorial and Plaza Halls Removal, Design, Renovation and Construction 14.5 million Rochester Olmsted Southeast Greater MN
  • Hibbing Community College - Campus Reconfiguration 7.5 million Hibbing St. Louis Northeast Greater MN
  • Winona State University - Education Village Phase 2, Renovation and Demolition 16.9 million Winona Southeast Greater MN
  • St. Cloud State University - Student Health and Academic Renovation 12.3 million St. Cloud Stearns Central Greater MN
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato - Clinical Sciences Phase 2, Design and Renovation 4.4 million Mankato Blue Earth Southwest Greater MN
  • Riverland Community College 5 million Albert Lea Freeborn Southeast Greater MN
While these are estimates of where the funding would go, it helps provide a general framework of the governor’s higher education plan.

Get to know Director of Government Relations Angelique McDonald!

Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: I hold two bachelor's degrees, one from St. Cloud State University and the other from the University of Minnesota. I obtained my Master's degree in Public Policy while working as a lobbyist for the Realtor's Association and Messerli & Kramer, P.A. From there, I worked on candidate and policy campaigns as a consultant.

Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: What interests me about working for MSCSA are the ever changing issues that the students face. Everything from developmental education, equity issues, credit transfer policies, and working to ensure graduation is very exciting to me! I have already begun to work with some of our students and I look forward to continuing to build new relationships.

Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: I think that students will always have drive to fight for affordability, and so that is a primary area that I plan to focus my work on. Going forward, I hope that I can work with the universities to help streamline the collegiate process for students, especially first generation/ESL students. I think that applying for college and trying to determine if you qualify for aid is a very intimidating process for many students. One of my goals is to create a system that is student friendly so that they have a clear understanding of the college system and what options are available to them.

Q: What interests do you have outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I am likely with my family (1 spouse, 4 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1, turtle)! My oldest is a freshman in college (Bemidji State), so many of the issues that our students face I deal with at home. We are a pretty big hockey family so we are often at the rink or cheering on the Wild. I also have a daughter who dances competitively so we end up all over the place watching her on stage. As for me, I love traveling and I have a very long bucket list but I often settle for a good book and a nap with the dog.
Angelique attended St. Cloud State University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health and went on to the University of Minnesota to receive her Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. While studying at the U of M, she interned at the Minnesota House of Representatives. She then furthered her education by pursing her Master’s Degree in Public Policy while beginning her career as a lobbyist for the Realtor’s Association. She has been involved in local and state politics for over 10 years. In addition to her work with association nonprofits, Angelique has worked inside the capitol in the Sargent of Arms office. She also has experience working on a number of congressional races: both inside the state of Minnesota and outlying states.
As a mother to a freshman in college, she is very familiar with what challenge’s student’s face. She spends her free moments generally driving her remaining 3 children all over the metro in a sub-par vehicle. She volunteers her time as the hockey manager to two travel teams, is an active member of her local Lion’s Club, organizes multiple team shifts at Feed My Starving Children, and is a long time volunteer with Special Olympics Minnesota. She enjoys international travel, extreme sports, naps with her dog, and a good book.

Meet Vice President
Brett Underdahl!

Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: This is my second attempt at higher education since graduating high school in 2002. I attended Minnesota State University-Mankato right out of high school but it was not a good fit for me. For the next ten years, I worked various entry-level jobs and was just getting by, when I realized that I needed more education to achieve what I wanted. I started at South Central College in fall of 2013 and will graduate this spring with an accounting AAS degree.
Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: From the beginning of my time at SCC, I was drawn to the Student Senate and attended my first MSCSA conference in December of 2013. After that first conference, I started to realize all the issues that face students when it comes to achieving their degree. As I got more involved in student government, I looked for ways to grow myself to become a better advocate for students. MSCSA welcomed me with opportunities that I could have never dreamed of.
Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: Tuition is something that affects all students. I am proud of all the work that myself and all the student leaders have done to try and reign in tuition costs but there is still more to do. Students can no longer afford to pay the 3rd highest tuition in the country. I also want to work really hard on developmental education reform. I had to take a developmental education math course, and while it was helpful and sparked some interests I didn't know I had, it still meant that I had to take an additional class for no credit. Too many students get stuck with their first year filled with developmental education classes that discourage them to continue and complete their degree.
Q: What interests do you have outside of work?
A: When I am not in class, studying or advocating for students, I enjoy camping with family, hiking, and watching technology podcasts.
Brett Underdahl is an accounting major at South Central College. He plans to work with a nonprofit after graduation. He has grown in his leadership during his college career from serving as Student Senate Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President along with serving on various college committees. Through MSCSA, he serves on the Academic and Student Affairs Technology Council at Minnesota State and also served as the Metro South Region Platform Committee Alternate and Representative.
When he is not in class, studying or advocating for students, he enjoys camping with his family, hiking, and watching technology podcasts.

Take the next step in your student leadership journey!

Do you want to run for a position on the MSCSA Cabinet (President, Vice President, Public Relations Coordinator, and Treasurer) or the Student-At-Large Platform Representative or Governing Council Representative?
According to the MSCSA Bylaws, in order to run for an officer or Student-at-Large position, you will need to submit the following items to the MSCSA office by March 24 at 5:00 p.m.:
  • The online application form; which includes submitting a photo, a candidate bio, and completing the questionnaire.
  • The MSCSA eligibility authorization form; which verifies that the candidate has a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and is currently registered for no less than six (6) credits at a Minnesota State 2-year institution. (If you are mailing it in, the form must be postmarked by March 21).
Apply here!

MSCSA Leadership Scholarships Awarded

MSCSA is proud to announce the seven recipients for the 2017 spring semester scholarships.
McCormick Leadership Scholarship:
Julie Baker, Minnesota State College Southeast
MSCSA Leadership Scholarships:
Andrew J. Hjelle, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Kassandra A. Klasen, St. Cloud State University
Yawa E. Komlanvi, Normandale Community College
Rebecca L. Larson, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Morrie Anderson Endowed Scholarship:
Kusum Joshi, Dakota County Technical College
John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund Scholarship:
Sumaiya Khan, Dakota County Technical College

Equity update, 2016 Voter Cup winners, and much more!

Association Update 12-19-16

MSCSA Association Update - December 2016
MSCSA Association Update - December 2016

Upcoming Events:

January Student Leadership Conference

Date: January 5-7, 2017
Location: Inver Hills Community College & Radisson Blu Mall of America - Bloomington, MN
View event details.

10th Annual
Scholarship Gala

Date: Friday, January 6, 2017
Location: Radisson Blu Mall of America - Bloomington, MN
View event details.

Advocacy Day 2017

Date: February 20-21, 2017
Location: Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge - St. Paul, MN
Register by January 31, 2017!

Power in Diversity Conference 2017

MSCSA is proud to be a sponsor of the Power in Diversity Conference in St. Cloud from January 27-28. This year’s conference is a great opportunity for leadership development and cultural intelligence skills development.
MSCSA would like a student from every MSCSA campus to attend. To encourage student leaders to attend, MSCSA is offering 20 scholarships. Please complete an application by January 8th.

Regional meetings success

The regional meetings were a pilot project to help student leaders gain specific leadership skills in a small group setting. We had a great turnout with a total of 130 students attending the regional meetings that occurred in November and December. We received great feedback from students on how they can be effective advocates through strategy, story-telling, and support.

Office closure notice

The MSCSA office will be closed from December 23, 2016 through January 2, 2017 in observance of the holiday season. The MSCSA staff and cabinet would like to wish you all the warmest of holiday cheer!

MSCSA equity update

Introducing MSCSA’s Equity Team
Recently, two members have been added to the Equity Team. We are excited to have such a great team of individuals on board as we work towards creating more equitable educational opportunities and communities for all students to thrive. The members of the MSCSA Equity Team include Equity and Inclusion Fellow May Yang, and interns Ariel Mendoza, Maggie Nead, and Praise Olowokere. The team has concentrated their efforts in three areas of focus: the Power in Diversity conference, campus diversity plan review, and advocacy. Look for continuing updates from the Equity Team!
Reviewing campus diversity plans
MSCSA’s Equity Team recently started a peer review process for the diversity plans created by each campus. Our team hopes that students can become engaged in the Equity and Inclusion campaign through helping to analyze and assess these plans. The review process is as follows:
  1. Select a campus diversity plan you would like to review. You can choose from any of the Minnesota State community and technical colleges.
  2. Email May (myang@mscsa.org) with your selection. May will send your selected plan as well as the Campus Diversity Plans Review document.
  3. Read and analyze the goals and objectives of the plan by answering eight short questions on the Campus Diversity Plans Review document.
  4. Email your completed questionnaire to May.
Everyone is invited to participate in this process, as student input is especially critical in the assessment of diversity plans. You are also free to review as many plans as you’d like. All feedback received through this process is highly valuable and will inform MSCSA as we work towards a more inclusive equity plan at the Minnesota State system level.

Making equity a priority for Minnesota State’s next chancellor
Earlier this year, MSCSA sent a letter to members of the Minnesota State Board of Trustees outlining four critical steps that the board can take to begin addressing Minnesota’s opportunity gap and set the chancellor up for success. The steps we sent them are below:
  1. Requiring a new System Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan is created within 12 months.
    The system lacks an up-to-date equity plan that lays out a vision for how we will improve educational outcomes for students from underserved populations and improve the inclusivity of our institutions. The Minnesota State system should prioritize the development of an equity plan now so the next chancellor has the foundation to finally address these issues.
  2. Double the size of the Equity and Inclusion Office in the system.
    We see an understaffed equity office on the system level that leaves hard working, dedicated individuals unable to do all the work they wish to do. We believe that increased staffing in this office could help the system take a great step forward in addressing key issues.
  3. Bring an Equity Lens to the Board of Trustees.
    The Board of Trustees should lead by example to effectively address these systemic issues. That means it must bring an equity lens to its work on the board.
  4. Create benchmarks and timelines to develop more culturally competent curriculum.
    There have been great conversations with both the IFO and MSCF on ways to both improve the diversity of faculty and create more curriculum that develops cultural intelligence for students. These conversations should move from just conversations to an active planning process that includes key benchmarks and timelines.
The proposals that we have brought forward are really just the first steps in a journey toward a more open and inclusive environment at our institutions.

MSCSA to hold 2016-17 president special election

We would like to inform everyone that we have received a letter of resignation from President Dylan Kelly. On behalf of MSCSA, we want to thank Dylan for his service. Dylan has been a tireless advocate for students. He will be missed and we wish him well as he moves on from MSCSA.
MSCSA will hold a special election to fill the president position during the January Student Leadership Conference, which is scheduled for January 5-7, 2017.
If you have any question, please contact Executive Director Mike Dean (mdean@mscsa.org) or MSCSA Interim President Minda Nelson (vice@mscsa.org).

Announcing the winners of the 2016 MSCSA Voter Cup!

Congratulations on an amazing Get Out the Vote year! Throughout the entire campaign, many campuses have been competing for the Voter Cup, but only two campuses could win. And without further ado... Congratulations to Century College and Minnesota West Community and Technical College-Pipestone! To make this special announcement MSCSA recruited Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Warehouse renovation:

Let the changes begin

For the past 4 years, renovating the warehouse has been discussed and planned by MSCSA. We are happy to announce the renovation is finally beginning!
Throughout the summer, the staff at MSCSA has been hard at work cleaning out and sorting the items that were stored in the warehouse, while Executive Director Mike Dean has been collecting bids from contractors. Contractors have submitted their bids, and a decision is expected by early 2017. Soon thereafter, work will begin in the warehouse.
The warehouse renovation will create a new look for the MSCSA office. The warehouse will have a new front entrance for the office, and the rest of the warehouse space will turn into a convention-like center with stadium seating and plenty of meeting space. The goal of the new warehouse is to have a space for student leadership training, used both by MSCSA and student senates throughout the state.
The current front entrance of the MSCSA office will turn into a smaller conference room that will be used to host meetings that occur at the office.
The goal is to unveil the completed renovation at the 2017 Great MSCSA Get-Together! Be sure to check our website for updates, as we will keep you informed on the progress.
If you have any questions about the renovation, please contact Executive Director Mike Dean at mdean@mscsa.org or (651) 203-9454.

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