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Association News

Legislative Update

Over the past several weeks, the budget process has really ramped up and the 2015 Minnesota legislative session continues to move ahead. In the past week, higher education committees in both the house and senate have moved budget bills forward. 

The senate budge omnibus bill, SF 5 (Bonoff) passed through the full senate last week. That bill contains a variety of fiscal and policy provisions. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Approximately $59 million in new base funding (titled tuition relief in the bill) for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. 
  • $24 million in funding for a tuition relief program targeted at Minnesota high school graduates who attend MnSCU colleges and enter certain technical degrees. Grants under this program are "last dollar" meaning they will cover any remaining need a student has after other financial aid is figured in.
  • A variety of financial aid formula changes including increases in the Living and Miscellaneous Expenses Allowance (LME).
  • Language directing MnSCU to create new transfer pathways to facilitate seamless transfer for students. 
  • Modified language aimed at encouraging the use of more co-requisite classes for students who need developmental education.
  • Language aimed at improving how campuses in the state handle incidences of sexual violence. The bill includes changes to report mechanisms and cooperation with law enforcement as well as new training requirements for campus staff, faculty, and students. 

Later today, the house omnibus bill will be heard on the floor. That bill, HF845 will includes new funding for the MnSCU system as well as tuition directives to the Board of Trustees. Some specifics of that bill include: 

  • Approximately $100 million in new base money for the MnSCU system.
  • Directive to the Board of Trustees limiting tuition increases over the next two years. For system universities, a 3 percent increases is allowed in the first year of the biennium with a freeze in the second year. For colleges, tuition is frozen in year one and reduced by 1 percent in year two. 
  • Language similar to that of the senate around sexual violence reporting and training.
  • Identical language to the senate around credit transfer pathways. 

Upon final passage of HF845, a conference committee will be chosen to work through the differences in the two bills and eventually send an agreement to the governor. As has been reported before, Governor Mark Dayton recommends $142 million in new base funding for MnSCU as well as a two year tuition freeze for all campuses.  

2015 Annual Award Winners

We are proud to announce the recipients of our annual MSCSA awards. At the Spring General Assembly on April 11, 2015 at Breezy Point Resort in Brainerd, MN, the recipients were announced and honored. We received many thoughtful nominations and after much deliberation from our selection committee, the recipients below stood out above the crowd. We were excited to unveil two new awards this year, Alumni of the Year and MnSCU Committee Member of the Year. If you missed the awards dinner, you can watch the awards program online! These honorees work tirelessly for the students of Minnesota and took great steps toward furthering the mission of MSCSA. Congratulations to all of those who were nominated and to our selected recipients!




KevinParker GCMemberOfTheYear

Kevin Parker

Governing Council Member of the Year



NicholasThorsen PlatformMemberOfTheYear

Nicholas Thorsen

Platform Committee Member of the Year



JenniferRassett StudentSenateAdvisorOfTheYear

Jennifer Rassett

Student Senate Advisor of the Year



GregCady InstructorOfTheYear

Greg Cady

Instructor of the Year 



ScottFormo AlumniOfTheYear

Scott Formo

Alumni of the Year



KentHanson CollegePresidentOfTheYear

Kent Hanson

College President of the Year



RichardBarnier MnSCUCommitteeMemberOfTheYear

Richard Barnier

MnSCU Committee Member of the Year



RiverlandCCAustin StudentSenateOfTheYear

Riverland Community College - Austin

Student Senate of the Year



EstefaniaNavarro StudentLeaderOfTheYear

Estefania Navarro

Student Leader of the Year 



RochesterCTC KitchenSinkAward

Rochester Community and Technical College

Kitchen Sink Award

This award is given to the student senate who brought everything AND the kitchen sink!


2015-16 Leadership Elected at Spring General Assembly

This past weekend, students from around Minnesota came together for the 2015 Spring General Assembly at Breezy Point Resort near Brainerd, Minnesota. Over 250 delegates from 42 campuses were charged with electing the 2015-16 MSCSA Cabinet, Governing Council and Platform Committee. We are proud to introduce the 2015-16 MSCSA Cabinet. These students will begin their term on July 1, 2015.


Kevin Parker

View Kevin's election speech.


Tim St. Claire

View Tim's election speech.


Austin Ruport

View Austin's election speech.


 Richard Barnier

View Richard's election speech.

MSCSA Fall Scholarship Deadline Approaching

The Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) scholarship program rewards emerging student leaders for their community service and their academic achievement. The application process is easy and the return on your time investment can be huge-the last round of scholarship recipients received $1,000! The deadline to submit an application for a fall semester is Friday, May 1. Learn more and apply today!

A Farewell to Hali Kolkind, MSCSA Director of Policy

Hali Kolkind will be moving on after a year of serving as the Director of Policy for MSCSA. Hali is joining the advocacy efforts of the Mental Health Association of Minnesota.

Mental health has been a passion of Hali’s and she will advance their advocacy efforts through development and communications. The Mental Health Association is Minnesota’s oldest mental health advocacy organization and works to enhance mental health, promote individual empowerment, and increase access to treatment and services.

Please join us in wishing Hali well in her new adventure! Her last day at MSCSA will be Thursday, April 9, 2015.


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