MSCSA has been busy in March advocating for the interests of community & technical colleges across the state of Minnesota. On March 14-15, MSCSA leaders met with elected officials in Washington D.C. to lobby on federal issues affecting students in Minnesota. In addition, students met with several non-profit groups to learn more about higher education policy and how MSCSA can advance higher education for community and technical college students.
On March 23rd, MSCSA had its annual Advocacy Day at the Minnesota State Capitol. Despite the ongoing capitol construction, students met with legislators from across the state to deliver a unified message about affordability, open educational resources, and equity in higher education. The following outlines MSCSA’s state legislative agenda for 2016 aimed at benefitting students state-wide.
MnSCU Bonding Proposal
MSCSA supports the MnSCU bonding proposal, which requests $254.5 million in projects. $110 million of this proposal is for HEAPR projects. HEAPR – Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement – projects help keep our students warm, safe, and dry. Investing in existing infrastructure is a cost effective way to ensure that students have adequate resources to succeed in MnSCU institutions. Repair work to infrastructure may not be the most exciting issue, but functional facilities are key to student success. It’s true what they say: HEAPR is cheaper!
MnSCU Supplemental Request
MSCSA is grateful to the legislature for funding a tuition freeze and decrease for community and technical college students. To build on this good work and to ensure quality across the MnSCU system, MSCSA is advocating for MnSCU’s supplemental budget request. The $21 million requested by MnSCU will help protect the investment that the legislature made last year.
Open Educational Resources
MSCSA is sponsoring legislation that will build on MnSCU’s investment into open educational resources. Open educational resources (OERs) are electronic textbooks that can be fully customizable by faculty and are often free to use. MSCSA believes that OERs are key to reducing textbook costs for students. Because more than 20% of a community or technical college student’s costs come from textbooks, movement towards OERs would translate to huge savings for students. MSCSA’s bill will continue to fund OER pilot programs on campuses across the state and supplement the Open Education Resource Learning Network. To learn more about MSCSA’s work on textbook affordability, click here.
To view our state legislative materials, click here.
Association Update 03-28-16
Association Update 02-22-16
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!
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.
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.