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Don't miss out on 2016-17 student leadership positions, MnSCU Board of Trustees, and MSCSA annual awards!

Association Update 02-22-16


 
 

Upcoming Events:

February Student Leadership Conference

Dates: February 26-28, 2016
Location: Minnesota State Community and Technical College & Best Western -
Fergus Falls, MN
View event details.
FREE Hungry for Equity Partner Forum
Date: March 5, 2016
Location: Saint Paul College - Saint Paul, MN
 

D.C. Summit

Date: March 12-15, 2016
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Smithsonian - Washington, D.C
View event details.

Advocacy Day

Date: March 22-23, 2016
Location: Holiday Inn East Saint Paul - Saint Paul, MN
Register by March 4, 2016.

From the Blog...

Q&A with new MSCSA Director of Programs & Events
Lindsay Barton
Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Parks & Leisure Services. My emphasis is in Leisure Planning & Management and Resource Management. I have over six years of experience planning and managing programs and events. I have had the pleasure of working with a diverse group of people and organizations that include early education, higher education, recreation, and non-profits organizations. Prior to MSCSA, I spent the last three years organizing programs and events at the University of Minnesota.
Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: I am excited to be part of a great team and organization that is dedicated to supporting students and that strives to develop student leaders. I enjoy working with students and providing them with educational opportunities and encouragement. I appreciate being able to witness the growth and positive impact that occurs in students after participating in leadership development programs.
Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: Right now I am organizing a series of professional development courses that are offered to the public in the Rochester, MN and surrounding areas. The topics include leadership, communication, innovation and technology. I look forward to organizing the MSCSA student leadership conferences and generating an impactful experience. I am also excited to create relationships with the two-year colleges and students, and increase awareness about the opportunities at MSCSA.
Q: What interests do you have outside of work?A: Outside of work I enjoy watching baseball and football. Go Twins and Vikings! I enjoy traveling, festivals, sight-seeing, searching for the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion, all while spending time with my family.
Lindsay Barton graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Parks & Leisure Services with an emphasis in Leisure Planning and Management.
Since graduating, Lindsay has gained over six years of experience - planning and coordinating events in a variety of professional settings. These included early education, sports/recreation, non-profit organizations, and more recently higher education.
Before coming to MSCSA, Lindsay worked at the University of Minnesota’s Technological Leadership Institute where she organized and hosted events that brought together academic and industry thought leaders with graduate students, alumni, and members of the wider business community. She is passionate about her work, and understands the impact that highly engaged programs can bring to an organization.
In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys exploring the Twin Cities with her family.

Now Hiring: MnSCU BOT 

 
Job Description: Are you passionate about making life better for Minnesota community & technical college students? Do you want to advocate for lower tuition, more system transparency, and better student services? Interested in rubbing elbows with the Governor and adding an impressive credential to your resume? Apply to be an MSCSA endorsed candidate for the MnSCU Board of Trustees!
Time Commitment:
  • Approximately one two-day meeting per month at MnSCU headquarters
  • Approximately 5 hours per week in outreach and research
  • Monthly meeting with MSCSA Cabinet and Staff to prepare for Board meetings
Compensation: $55 per day spent on Board activities plus expenses, when approved by the Board

Qualifications:
  • Current student that intends to attend a MnSCU college during the 2016-17 school year
  • Strong advocate for student interests
  • Willing to maintain open lines of communication with MSCSA staff and cabinet during Board appointment
  • Enthusiastic about MSCSA and advancing the interests of two-year college students across the state
How to Apply: Fill out the application and submit a cover letter and resume for the position. Applications are due by 11:59 PM Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Interviews will be held at the MSCSA office or by phone on Saturday, March 19.
 
Questions?: Contact Director of Policy Becca Branum at
branum@mscsa.org or Vice President Tim St. Claire at vice@mscsa.org.

Do you know someone who deserves a MSCSA award?

The annual awards dinner is a highlight of the MSCSA Spring General Assembly and we need your help to make it a meaningful and successful event. Think about the individuals you know who went the extra mile this year and 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 'Nominate Here' button below. We are counting on you to help MSCSA recognize outstanding student leaders and student supporters!
 
STUDENT AWARDS
  • Student Leader of the Year
    Student leaders come from all different backgrounds and carry so many diverse stories. A Student Leader of the Year is 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
    A Governing Council Member of the Year 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 Representative of the Year
    A Platform Committee Member of the Year is seen to display many qualities related to legislation in the association. However, one that has dedicated their time and effort to research and develop a working knowledge of the issues facing our students, our legislative agenda and then educate the students of their region displays qualities worthy of a nomination.
  • 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.
  • MnSCU Committee Member of the Year
    MnSCU 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 MnSCU 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 MnSCU 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 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 18, 2016.
Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
 
Nominate Here

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 18 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 MnSCU 2-year institution. (If you are mailing it in, the form must be postmarked by March 15)
Check out the position descriptions below to learn more about each role.
 
 

Now Hiring: MnSCU Board of Trustees

Wanted MnSCU BOTapplicants square
Job Description: 
Are you passionate about making life better for Minnesota community & technical college students? Do you want to advocate for lower tuition, more system transparency, and better student services? Interested in rubbing elbows with the Governor and adding an impressive credential to your resume? Apply to be an MSCSA endorsed candidate for the MnSCU Board of Trustees!

Time Commitment:

    • Approximately one two-day meeting per month at MnSCU headquarters
    • Approximately 5 hours per week in outreach and research
    • Monthly meeting with MSCSA Cabinet and Staff to prepare for Board meetings
    • Compensation$55 per day spent on Board activities plus expenses, when approved by the Board

Qualifications:

    • Current student that intends to attend a MnSCU college during the 2016-17 school year
    • Strong advocate for student interests
    • Willing to maintain open lines of communication with MSCSA staff and cabinet during Board appointment
    • Enthusiastic about MSCSA and advancing the interests of two-year college students across the state

How to Apply: Fill out the application and submit a cover letter and resume for the position. Applications are due by 11:59 PM Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Interviews will be held at the MSCSA office or by phone on Saturday, March 19.

Questions?: Contact Director of Policy Becca Branum at bbranum@mscsa.org or Vice President Tim St. Claire at vice@mscsa.org.

News You Can Use: 02/15/16

Let’s Get Ready to Caucus!

Are you to excited to caucus? MSCSA sure is! Whether you’re “feeling the Bern” or you’re more of a “Trump-eter” – make your voice heard on March 1 as Minnesotans all over the state caucus to help choose the candidates that will represent the Democratic and Republican parties in the 2016 presidential election.

What’s a Caucus?

A caucus is a meeting where members of the community come together and nominate the person they want to represent their political party as a candidate for President of the United States. This year, Minnesotans will be caucusing on “Super Tuesday” along with 11 other states that will also be holding primaries or caucuses on the same day. So far, there hasn’t been a clear winner for either the Republican or Democratic nominee – meaning that it is more important than ever for you to participate and have your voice heard!

Why Should I Caucus?

So much of higher education policy is decided at the federal level. Student loans, textbook costs, veteran’s issues, equity & justice – so many of these issues are dealt with at a federal level. It is important that the voice of students is heard during the caucuses so that candidates and whoever wins the nomination is responsive to student concerns. Whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or something else entirely, MSCSA wants all students to have their voices heard so that all students can do better. To learn more about the prominent Presidential candidates, visit Ballotpedia.

How Do I Caucus?

To find your caucus location in Minnesota, visit the Secretary of State’s MnVotes website. To be eligible to caucus, you must be eligible to vote and live in the precinct in which you caucus. By law, your employer must allow you time off work to caucus, so long as you give ten days notice. To learn more, visit here. In addition, public universities and colleges may not hold meetings on caucus night so that all Minnesota students are able to have their voices heard. For information from the Minnesota Republican Party on caucusing, click here. Information on caucusing from the Minnesota Democratic-Farm-Labor (DFL) party is available here.

Happy caucusing!

News You Can Use: 01/29/16

New Minnesota Educational Debt Refinancing Program

Good news from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education! Do you or your family members struggle to make payments on your loans from college? Worried about being able to make payments after you graduate from a MnSCU community or technical college? The new Minnesota SELF Refi program might be able to help! SELF Refi is a state-sponsored loan refinancing program available to Minnesotans that have completed a postsecondary course of study and meet relevant credit criteria. 

What’s Refinancing?

Refinancing allows you to take the loans you currently have and potentially obtain a lower interest rate – saving you money on interest rates in the long term. SELF Refi offers 5, 10, and 15-year repayment windows and both fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed interest rates will stay the same throughout your entire repayment window but are a bit higher; variable interest rates are lower but fluctuate in response to market conditions – meaning you could be required to pay a higher interest rate in the future. Depending on the loans you have, SELF Refi may be able to offer you a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying. Check out this handy repayment calculator to see if refinancing through this program makes sense for you.

Don’t Let Debt Keep You Down

We hear from students every day about how scared they are about the prospect of paying back their student loans. The average associate degree graduate in Minnesota leaves school with more than $20,000 debt – equaling a $200 per month payment for 10 years. For many people already struggling to make ends meet, $200 per month is too much to ask. Debt is scary, but know that you have options. The federal government and other loan programs often offer income-based repayment options. If you or your family are having trouble making payments or are already in default, check out this helpful information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are programs that can help you if you get into default – seeking help early can avoid many headaches down the road.

MSCSA knows how hard loans make the lives of students in Minnesota. That’s why we’re fighting for debt-free community college. To learn more about our campaign, visit the Renew Our Promise website.

Seeking Annual Awards Nominations, Q&A with Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck, and much more!

Association Update 01-25-16

 
Power in Diversity Leadership Conference
Dates: January 28-21, 2016
Location: St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud, MN
View event details.

February Student Leadership Conference

Dates: February 26-28, 2016
Location: Minnesota State Community and Technical College & Best Western -
Fergus Falls, MN
Register by Friday, February 12.
FREE Hungry for Equity Partner Forum
Date: March 5, 2016
Location: Saint Paul College
Q&A with new MSCSA Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck
Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: I graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in December 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and Communication Studies. During my time at the University of Minnesota I began my career in grassroots organizing with the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. My roles there included task force leader, field canvasser, legislative intern, and student government representative. My most recent position was in the Office of Government and Community Relations at the University of Minnesota as a student office assistant.
Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: I believe students are strong advocates and that they have immense power to make change. I was interested in working for MSCSA because I want to work with college students to make change in our community. When I was looking for jobs as my last semester came to an end, I stumbled upon this post on the Nonprofit Job Board and I knew I needed to apply. Once I started the interview process I became increasingly passionate about the role and I couldn’t be more excited to start.
Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: Recently I have been working with the University of Minnesota State Relations Team on their Capital and Supplemental budget requests. During my time with MPIRG I worked on a wide variety of social justice, environmental, and college affordability issues. These issues included: living wages, fair scheduling, sick time, increasing funding for our Chicano Studies Department, 40% renewable energy by 2020, and the Opportunity Minnesota Tax Credit. I am really excited to work on the Debt-Free College Campaign and on Get Out The Vote in the fall.
Q: What interests do you have outside of work? A: Outside of work I enjoy going on outdoor adventures– hiking, camping, and exploring the North Shore. I am also interested in fitness and running. Traveling is a new found passion of mine. After all of the exploring is done I enjoy sitting down with a good book.
Samantha Beck graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with her B.A. in Political Science and Communication Studies. She spent two years organizing with MPIRG, Minnesota Public Interest Research Group, in different capacities ranging from field canvasser to task force leader. Her time there brought her to the realization that she was passionate about advocating for students’ rights and in working for her community. Her most recent position was in the Office of Government and Community Relations at the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, Samantha enjoys reading and exploring the state parks in Minnesota. She is also interested in fitness and traveling.

Help choose MSCSA's Board of Trustees endorsements

MSCSA members are invited to submit a letter of intent to serve on the ad-hoc committee to select the MSCSA endorsed student candidates for the MnSCU Board of Trustees (BOT). Letters of intent are due to Vice President Tim St. Claire at vice@mscsa.org by Friday, February 26 at 9:00 PM. Ad-hoc committee members will recommend candidates for approval by the MSCSA Governing Council.
Qualifications
    • MnSCU two-year college student
    • Not intending to apply for the MSCSA Board of Trustees MSCSA endorsement
    • Able to meet by phone or in person to review and interview candidates on March 18th and 19th
    • Enthusiastic about identifying promising candidates for the BOT
Expectations
    • Review application materials of all BOT endorsement applicants
    • Participate in interviews on March 18th and 19th at the MSCSA office, either in person or by phone
    • Evaluate BOT endorsement candidates fairly and with the intention of identifying individuals most capable of representing MSCSA interests at the BOT

Now seeking 2016 MSCSA Annual Awards Nominations

The annual awards dinner is a highlight of the MSCSA Spring General Assembly and we need your help to make it a meaningful and successful event. Think about the individuals you know who went the extra mile this year and 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
    • MnSCU 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 18, 2016.
Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
Nominate Here

Save money by refinancing your student loans

Earlier this month, the state of Minnesota launched a new program that could save you real money each month by refinancing your student loan payments to a lower interest rate. Read the complete story here.
The Office of Higher Education explains the program this way:
The SELF Refi is a new student loan refinancing program administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a state agency. The program is available to Minnesota residents who completed a postsecondary course of study and meet the credit criteria. SELF Refi could reduce the amount of interest you pay and/or provide a more manageable monthly payment amount.
Borrower Eligibility Criteria
    • Current Minnesota resident,
    • earned a postsecondary certificate, diploma, associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree,
    • meet FICO score minimum of 720 without a co-signer (650 with a co-signer), and
    • maximum debt-to-income of 45%.
Co-signer Eligibility Criteria
    • U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
    • meet the minimum FICO score of 720, and
    • maximum debt-to-income of 40%.
Loan Limits
    • $70,000 for undergraduate or graduate degrees
    • $25,000 for all other degrees
    • Minimum loan amount $10,000
Qualified Educational Loans That Can Be Refinanced
    • Federal loans (Parent PLUS loans are NOT eligible),
    • State student loans including the Minnesota SELF Loan, and
    • Private student loans used to pay qualified education expenses.
Interest Rates and Repayment Terms
    • Fixed interest rates between 4.50% and 6.95% or variable interest rates between 3.00% and 4.35%.
    • 5-, 10- or 15-year term.
    • Borrowers and co-signers need to qualify for the rate and term based on debt-to-income ratio.
    • Repayment starts immediately after disbursement.
    • There are no deferment options.
    • Co-signer release option is available after 48 consecutive on-time payments.
For more information visit www.selfrefi.state.mn.us/

An afternoon of building dressers for those in need

On Wednesday, January 20, twelve MSCSA staff, student leaders, and alumni gathered at Bridging in Roseville for an afternoon of giving back to the community. The volunteers built 7 dressers in 3 hours. Through the effective reuse of donated items, Bridging improves lives by providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty. Bridging serves over 80 households each week who are given a sense of dignity and stability as they rebuild their lives.
If you are interested in donating your time, household goods, or money to bridging, please visit www.bridging.org.

Ten MnSCU students receive 100% American Scholarship

Ten students from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have been selected to receive the 100% American Scholarship with $500 to be used for tuition, fees, and books during the 2016 spring semester, totaling $5,000 in scholarships.

Congratulations go to the following award recipients:

    • Jeanne Amey, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    • Andrea Butzer, South Central College
    • Chad Conway, Southwest Minnesota State University
    • Lanoy Dara, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
    • Abdullahi Isse, Normandale Community College
    • Julie Moxley, Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical
    • Morgan Richardson, Minnesota State University Moorhead
    • Jordan Robinson, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
    • Levi Patric Skogstad, Rainy River Community College
    • Bonnie Vik, Minnesota West Community and Technical College

This award, through the generosity of Dr. Mark Welter, provided an insight to demonstrate that “all people – all creeds, all cultures, all colors, all countries have been borrowers and depositors at the world bank of knowledge.” The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students who applied responded to the four essay questions reflecting this.

If you would like to apply for a Minnesota State College Student Association scholarship, please visit www.mscsa.org/about-mscsa/scholarship or if you would like to contribute to the Minnesota State College Student Association scholarship fund, please contact MSCSA Development Assistant Joyce Petsch at jpetsch@mscsa.org or 651-203-9464.

 
 

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