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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.

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.

A look ahead at the legislature, 10th Annual Scholarship Gala, and much more!

Association Update 11-21-16

MSCSA Association Update - November 2016
MSCSA Association Update - November 2016

Upcoming Events:

Regional Meetings

Metro Regional Meeting: December 3, 2016
Register by Friday, November 25!

January Student Leadership Conference

Date: January 5-7, 2017
Location: Inver Hills Community College & Radisson Blu Mall of America - Bloomington, MN
Register by Friday, Dec 16!
By registering for the January SLC, you are automatically registered for the Gala. If you will not be attending the Gala but you are attending the January SLC, please mark the corresponding box on your registration form.

10th Annual
Scholarship Gala

Date: Friday, January 6, 2017
Location: Radisson Blu Mall of America - Bloomington, MN
Register by Friday, Dec 16!


Send in your Silent Auction Items Now!

We encourage all campuses to donate an item(s) to the Silent Auction for the Scholarship Gala. This is a chance for campuses to showcase their campus at the event and earn a Star Campus point. For more information please contact Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen at 651-203-9457 or prc@mscsa.org.

Now accepting Wall of Wine donations!

Are you looking for a fun and easy way to help raise money for student scholarships? If you are over 21, purchase your favorite bottle of wine and drop it off at the MSCSA office as a tax- deductible donation. We will add it to our Wall of Wine, where Scholarship Gala attendees pay $10 to draw a numbered wine bottle cork from a fishbowl and they win the corresponding numbered bottle of wine. The Wall of Wine is a favorite among Gala attendees and is always sure to sell out fast.
If you have questions about Wall of Wine donations or the Scholarship Gala, please contact Director of Program & Events Lindsay Barton at 651-203-9452 or lbarton@mscsa.org.

A look ahead at the 2017 legislative leadership

When the Minnesota State legislature convenes in January 2017, there will be plenty of new faces in the Capitol. The election earlier this month has brought much change in both chambers of the legislature.
Minnesota House:
During the recent election, Republicans picked up six seats held by Democrats, while Democrats picked up two seats held by Republicans. Prior to the election, Republicans held a 73-61 majority and will now hold 76 seats with Democrats controlling 57 seats. One seat, House District 32B, currently held by a Republican, will not be decided until a special election in February.
Minnesota Senate:
Coming into the election, Senate Democrats held 38 seats while Republicans held 28 (with one seat vacant due to the death of former Senate President Jim Metzen). Following the election, Republicans will hold 34 seats and Democrats 33 seats. This will mean that Republicans are poised (pending one election recount) to take control of the Senate by the slimmest of margins.
Chamber Leadership:
Since the election, each caucus in the legislature has elected their leadership. In the Senate, Sen. Paul Gazelka has been chosen to lead the Republicans as Majority Leader and Sen. Tom Bakk has been elected to lead Democrats as Minority Leader.
In the House, Republicans have elected Rep. Kurt Daudt as Majority Leader and Democrats have elected Rep. Melissa Hortman as Minority Leader.
Over the next few weeks, both House and Senate leadership will begin to create their committee structure and appoint chairs for each committee.

Power of One Vote scholarship recipients
from Dr. Mark M. Welter


Five students from Minnesota State have been selected to receive the Mark M. Welter “Power of One Vote” scholarship. $500 will be used for tuition, fees, and books during fall semester 2016.

Congratulations goes to the following recipients of the award:

  • Tazrian Ahmed, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Hannah Demmer, Minnesota State Community and Technical College-Fergus Falls
  • Yongju Im, Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • David Loos, Metropolitan State University
  • Lauri Luosta, Winona State University

MSCSA wants to thank Dr. Mark Welter for providing this scholarship to help students see how one vote can make a difference in any voting process during this presidential election year.

You're invited to the 10th Annual Scholarship Gala!

Friday, January 6, 2017
5:30 PM Silent Auction and Cash Bar
7:00 PM Dinner and Program
Radisson Blu Mall of America
2100 Killebrew Drive
Bloomington, MN 55425
Join us to help two-year college students pursue their career aspirations and become the next generation of great leaders. 100% of the proceeds from this event will go directly to support student scholarships.
Your attendance provides students with the opportunity for academic success and recognition. Join us January 6. View our event and sponsorship flyer.
Register by December 16!

Northern and Southern Regional Meetings 2016

The 2016 Northern and Southern Regional Meetings were a success. The Northern Meeting took place in Staples, MN and the Southern Meeting took place in North Mankato, MN. Students learned valuable leadership and advocacy skills, including being an effective advocate, successfully recruiting students, and leading teams. If you have not yet attended a regional meeting and are interested, register now for the Metro Regional Meeting on December 3.

Office closure notice

The MSCSA office will be closed from Thursday, November 24 throughSunday, November 27Turkey in honor of Thanksgiving.
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!

News You Can Use: 11/11/16

How gotv 2016 made election day great

After two months of pledging students to vote, senates across the state celebrated Election Day with “I Voted” photo booths. Each event was unique and reflected the spirit of the campus. A few examples of the celebrations that occurred are:

  • Riverland Community College-Owatonna had delicious Get Out the Vote cupcakes. 
  • Rochester Community and Technical College went all out with decorations and had a delectable ice cream social. 
  • Anoka Ramsey Community College-Coon Rapids celebrated with lots and lots of balloons.
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College had really fun photo props and fresh, hot coffee.
  • Century College, North Hennepin Community College, and Hennepin Technical College shared awesome photos of students at their photo booths.
  • Student Senate President, James De Hoyas of Riverland Community College-Albert Lea made local news talking about the importance of student participation in the election.

Century NYCU 110916  NHCC NYCU 110916  RCTC NYCU 110916  RiverAL NYCU 110916  RiverAustin NYCU110916

There are many examples of campuses that went above and beyond with their photo booths, but what needs to be highlighted is that each senate worked together to make this one of the best years for the Get Out the Vote campaign MSCSA has ever had.

The work wasn’t easy but it was crucial. For every student talked to, every conversation that occurred, and for every class rap that was made, we made a difference. We were able to show that the voices of over 12,000 students truly do matter. Showing students sample ballots, helping them find their polling place, and assisting them in completing their voter registration all helped with students being able to find their voice and make it heard. However, the work does not stop here.

Get Out the Vote is only the first step in our robust legislative agenda. It is how we show the Minnesota Legislature that it’s time to listen to the voices of students. The results of the Get Out the Vote campaign will magnify our voice at the legislature this year, and help us fight for lower tuition and student debt. This legislative session, we will mobilize students around these issues and work hard for a better future for Minnesota community and technical college students. MSCSA would like to thank everyone that participated in Get Out the Vote 2016 for all their hard work and dedication.



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