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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
AshaPhoto
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!
 

News You Can Use: 03/07/17

Get your pens ready, it’s budget consultation letter writing time!

Students have the opportunity to consult with their campus administration regarding the campus’ budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. After the consultation is complete, during the spring, student senate presidents letters to the Minnesota State Chancellor and the Board of Trustees regarding how the consultation process went.

Now is the time to begin your letter! MSCSA has resources available to assist you with this process. There will be a question and answer session on Thursday, March 16 at 3:00 PM. Please see the details below.

The first draft of your letter needs to be sent to the MSCSA office for review and feedback by Monday, April 3, by emailing sbeck@mscsa.org.

Questions? Contact MSCSA Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck at sbeck@mscsa.org

Check out the video below for more information and guidance!

Budget Consultation Q & A
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3311
Access Code: 614-791-253

 

News You Can Use: 03/02/17

Groots student of the month: Matthew Stonich

Matthew Stonich photo

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 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.”

Do you want to get involved? Sign our petition to tell your legislators to decrease tuition
by 1 percent!
 

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!

News You Can Use: 02/07/17

President Nelson testified on equity at the January
Board of Trustee meeting

At the Jan. 25 Board of Trustee meeting, President Minda Nelson testified to remind the board of the equity issues currently facing Minnesota State students and to urge them to begin a plan to address these issues.

President Nelson called for a campus-based and a system-based approach to equity, and said that a guiding plan needed to come from the system office. “While some campuses have the resources to thrive on their own, others need more help than a small campus department can provide.”

The Board of Trustee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee recently met and came to the conclusion that system-wide benchmarks and strategies need to be identified in the areas of equity. President Nelson reminded the Board of the letter MSCSA sent to the committee in September outlining four proposals to begin addressing equity in Minnesota State. It was suggested that by including students in these discussions, the equity benchmarks would be widespread and encompassing of all stakeholders.

President Nelson’s testimony concluded that while work is being done in the Minnesota State system on equity, a plan is still missing. She stated, “We want to partner in addressing these issues, but that requires engagement from the Board and the new chancellor.”

Below you can read President Nelson’s full testimony at the January Board of Trustee meeting.

The sound of silence.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

That is what has made the last 12 weeks so hard for us as student leaders, to hear the silence of the governing board of the Minnesota State system on one of the most pressing issues on our college campuses – the opportunity gap facing so many of our students.

At the September retreat, Board members asked for suggestions on what you as a board could do to address the issues of equity on our campuses. We took that question seriously, and developed a response on some realistic ideas that could be addressed by the board, in a letter to the Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee dated October 14. A few weeks later we testified at the October Board meeting with Students United outlining our ideas and concerns around the lack of progress on campus climate issues and the opportunity gap. After the meeting all we heard was silence.

At the November Board meeting, Students United Chair Joe Wolf testified again on these issues. His testimony was met with silence.

The IFO sent a letter on November 30 to Trustee Anaya and Chair Vekich in support of our letter. The response to that was silence.

Then on December 8th, we sent a follow-up email to Chair Anaya requesting a meeting to discuss these issues with her. Again only to be met with silence.

Finally, on January 9th we received a response to our concerns from Chair Vekich. The letter’s first paragraph said that the system is committed to equity because we have a committee to address that. A committee does not demonstrate a commitment. Especially when that committee has only met 14 times during the last 35 meetings of the Board of Trustees in the last 3 years. And during those meetings action was only taken a couple of times.

The letter failed to address our underlying concern and our point that the Minnesota State system does not have a strategy to address the opportunity gap. In March of last year, the College Board issued a report on how to best achieve diversity and inclusion goals. One of the key findings is that,
A growing body of research confirms the importance of alignment based on mission across programs, functions, and offices to create the greatest potential for achieving diversity goals. Research confirms that a more holistic approach to diversity strategies – developing a mission that includes the benefits of diversity, implementing strategies to foster interactions between students, and assessing strategies for impact and effectiveness – can help institutions achieve the benefits they seek.

The problem is that 54 different strategies to address equity is not going to work. The research has shown that. We need both a campus-based and a system-based approach on equity. While some campuses have the resources to thrive on their own, others need more than the help that a small system department can provide. We need a guiding plan from the system.

We felt optimistic by the discussion from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee yesterday that system-wide benchmarks and strategies need to be identified; and that idea was outlined in our first letter to the committee. Now is the time for the board to come together to develop those benchmarks and bring key stakeholders like students to the table to develop them.

Students of color on our campuses are tired of being ignored. The struggles that they go through on a daily basis are likely unimaginable to many people in this room. The smallest of these is the self-doubt that they face, wondering whether they really belong because there is no real support system for these students on our campuses.

We agree that work is being done in this area, some of it very positive like the increase in diversity of campus presidents and the human resources practices. Yet, the system still lacks a strategy.

We want to be a partner in addressing these issues, but that requires engagement from the Board and the new Chancellor. Our students will no longer accept silence from this board and will continue to speak out about inaction.

In September 2016, MSCSA sent a letter to the Board of Trustees outlining four proposals that were necessary first steps to address the equity challenges facing Minnesota State students. The four proposals included:

  1. Require that a new System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan be created within 12 months.
  2. Double the size of the Equity and Inclusion Office in the system.
  3. Bring an equity lens to the Board of Trustees.
  4. Create benchmarks and timelines to develop more culturally competent curriculum.

The letter concluded by saying “While we cannot get ahead of the next chancellor, these issues cannot wait for that chancellor. What we propose will help lay a solid foundation of information that will propel the next chancellor forward.”

Read the full letter President Nelson mentions in her testimony and see the
Board of Trustee’s response.

 

Update: 02/15/17

Read the letter President Nelson sent to Chair Vekich on February 14 in response to his letter
from January 9.

Photos


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