Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Minnesota State University Student Association Update March, 2012


Textbook Survey
Win an Amazon Kindle Fire
The cost of textbooks is a significant issue for students when it comes to college affordability. MSUSA has created a student survey to learn more about textbooks, including the cost, use and information available about them. We will use the
information gathered to make textbooks more affordable and accessible for students.

The survey is open to all students attending state universities (Bemidji, Mankato, Metropolitan, Moorhead, St. Cloud, Southwest and Winona), and should only take 5-10 minutes to complete. Start the survey now by clicking here.
Be sure to enter your e-mail at the end of survey for a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire!
State Legislative Update 
MSUSA Pushes to Reduce Textbook Costs

MSUSA has used the 2012 session to push for the creation of a working group to address the drastic increase in the costs of textbooks. With the help of Rep. King Banaian and Sen. John Carlson we are urging the legislature to direct MnSCU to bring together all the stakeholders and figure out a way to deliver materials to students in a more cost-effective and efficient way. We are hoping to create a system that will revolutionize the way students interact with their textbooks and expand the use of e-books and other classroom advances in technology to reduce the costs to students.

MSUSA Supports 2012 MnSCU Capital Budget Request

The focus of the 2012 Minnesota legislative session has been on bonding and MSUSA is right in the mix advocating on behalf of MnSCU's 2012 capital budget request. The total MnSCU package is $278 million and is full of projects that will enhance opportunites on campuses and experiences for students. MSUSA has placed a significant priority on Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) projects to ensure we are maintaining our existing infrastructure. MSUSA also supports the requested increase to the MnSCU revenue fund. The revenue fund is used to remodel residence halls, build parking structures and other major projects that are needed to keep our campuses safe and competitive with other universities.
Lobby Corps
Our lobby corps program has been very successful during the 2012 session. Our campuses have had a chance to meet with key legislative staff, each State Representative and Senator that represents our campuses as well as the Higher Ed Chairs. Each campus committee has also been active on campus educating students about what is happening at the Capitol.

Each campus looks forward to a second visit to St. Paul in March to complete their lobbying efforts.

MSUSA Continues to Oppose the Voter Identification Amendment

A bill that would add an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution requiring Minnesotans to show a photo identification to vote is currently working its way through the state legislature.

In the current amendment language, voters would be asked to approve an amendment this fall without knowing in advance if their ID would be valid to vote with next year, how absentee voters would provide so-called ‘proof-of-identity’, how a free 'voter ID' could be obtained and at what costs to the state and what the creation of provisional ballots would mean for voters and for election administrators.
MSUSA continues to oppose this amendment and will continue to work to ensure that students' right to vote is protected.
For more weekly updates on the legislative activity of the Minnesota State University Student Association check out our blog every Friday.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar Visits
Minnesota State University Moorhead
On Sunday, February 19, 2012 U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar met with students from Minnesota State University Moorhead to talk about many of the issues (MSUSA) advocates for at the federal level. The Senator expressed her continued support for the Pell grant program and a desire to keep higher education affordable throughout Minnesota. Check out our blog for more on the event from the students' perspective.
MSUSA Spring Delegates April 13-15 
Craguns Resort in Brainerd, MN
The MSUSA Delegates Assembly and Board of Directors will be meeting at the Cragun's Resort in Brainerd, Minnesota. Business that will be covered at the conference include 2012-2013 Officer Elections,  Platform review, Internal Affairs, and much more. For more information on the weekend click here.
Nominations for Officer Positions Due March 13
Interested in running for State Chair, Vice Chair or Treasurer? Submit a personal statement, resume, proof of good academic standing, at least one letter of recommendation, and an optional photograph to the MSUSA office at kgerkovich@msusa.org by March 13.
Approaching Scholarship Deadlines 
Penny Program Applications
Due March 15, 2012.
Timothy J. Penny State and Federal Fellowship and Barbara J. Penny Scholarship applications are due March 15th. For more information on either for these programs visit www.pennyprogram.org or contact Shannah Mulvihill at smoore@msusa.org.
Jared P. Stene Scholarship Applications
Due March 30, 2012
Jared P. Stene Leadership Scholarship Application are due March 30th. For more information on this program visit www.msusa.org/jps or contact Justin Hiniker at jpsintern@msusa.org.
Please visit our website at www.msusa.org.
Donate to our cause at www.msusa.org.

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