Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Delegates 2012 Recap

On April 13-15, the Spring Delegates met in Brainerd, Minnesota to handle the large task of updating the association's governing documents, setting the FY 2013 budget, electing the officers for the 2012-2013 year, and giving feedback regarding what an extraordinary education means to the average student.

Things kicked off on Friday with the culmination of Internal Affairs. Suggestions were made and approved to the Bylaws, Policies and Procedure, and Financial Policies during the meeting. After this business concluded, the Board of Directors met to elect next year's State Chair.  Moriah Miles from Minnesota State University, Mankato and Robert Trefetheren from Minnesota State University Moorhead both made their cases to the board for why they would be best suited to lead MSUSA next year. While both candidates were qualified for the position, the board ultimately decided to elect Moriah.

On Saturday morning, things kicked off with two rounds of work groups that included a budget overview, two sessions discussing what an extraordinary education looks like, platform feedback, and planning for next year's MSUSA outreach and engagement on campuses. Not only did these work groups better prepare the weekend's attendees for the Delegates Assembly, but they also provided valuable feedback to the MnSCU system.

After an exemplary lunch, that included a speech from Senator Carlson, the Delegates Assembly officially commenced. The early portions of the meeting were dedicated to approving the work of Internal Affairs, the suggested platform changes, and the FY 2013 budget. A great deal of productive discussion was had throughout enabling the Delegates to informatively approve of all of these items.

The delegates then moved into the two remaining items of business, the election of Vice Chair and Treasurer. First on the agenda was the Vice Chair election, where Thom Beneke from Minnesota State University Moorhead, Dea Price from Metropolitan State University, and Kyle Berndt from Southwest Minnesota State University made their case to the Delegates. After a great deal of deliberation and multiple rounds of balloting, the Delegates decided to give the job to Dea, though they were sure to note that all three individuals were quality candidates. The final major piece of business was the election of the Treasurer which was between Matt Lindquist from Minnesota State University Mankato and Sharon Yash from Winona State University. Sharon unfortunately could not be present for the election and the Delegates elected Matt Lindquist.

After Delegates, a brief award ceremony was held over dinner, MC'd by none other than Director of Campus Organizing, Matt Smriga. In addition, to recognition being given to the Campus Committees and Board Members, a few special awards were given out to recognize the extraordinary work done by specific campuses and individuals. Minnesota State University Moorhead won the most outstanding campus committee of the year for the excellent work on the many organizing campaigns assigned to them over the year. In addition, Joe "Captain Smooth" Longshore was given the Spirit of MSUSA award for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the organization.

On Sunday, the final day of the conference, all that remained was for the Board of Directors to meet and accept all of the recommendations from the Delegates Assembly, which they did without controversy. In addition, the board approved funding for a redesign of the MSUSA website that will help bolster the association's efforts at visibility and advocacy.

Overall it was a productive weekend that will enable MSUSA to continue its tireless advocacy on behalf of students in the coming year.  Thanks to everyone that made this year's Spring Delegates a resounding success!

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