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A few announcement newsletters from the 2009-2010 Executive Team can be found here:  Student Senate Newsletter 2009-2010
Below are the announcements from the 2008-2009 Student Senate Executive Board.
Your draft posts: Untitled Post

City of Minneapolis declares June 12 Minneapolis Mavericks Day!

posted Jun 16, 2009 8:15 AM by Senate President   [ updated Jun 16, 2009 8:21 AM by Site Admin ]

Hello Fellow Students,
 
On June 12, 2009, the Minneapolis City Council adopted a resolution recognizing MCTC's Basketball team and Coach Pivec for all the hard work they have done over the past several years.  Please take a moment to read the resolution below and congratulate our school's team for their amazing accomplishments!
 

Resolution of the City of

Minneapolis

By Ostrow, Gordon, Hofstede, Johnson, Samuels, Lilligren,

Goodman, Glidden, Schiff, Remington, Benson, Colvin Roy and Hodges

Honoring the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks Men’s Basketball Team

Whereas, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks men’s basketball team held the No. 1 ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III Poll for seven straight weeks during the 2008-09 season;

Whereas, the Mavericks lost just once during the regular season in their third game and then went on to win the next 31 games, capturing their 11th division title in 19 seasons and clinching a post-season berth for the 19th consecutive year;

Whereas, the Mavericks won the NJCAA Region 13 Division III Championship;

Whereas, the Mavericks advanced to the NJCAA’s Division III national title tournament game, falling to Richland College, Texas by a single point;

Whereas, Mavericks’ coach Jay Pivec took over a team with a 0-21 record in 1990 and has led the program to 15 seasons with more than 20 victories;

Whereas, Coach Pivec has coached seven NJCAA First-Team All-Americans at MCTC, the most of any Division III program;

Whereas, two out of every three MCTC men’s basketball players have gone on to play basketball at a four-year college or university;

Whereas, two out of every three of those players who transfer and play basketball graduate with a bachelor’s degree;

Whereas, Coach Pivec was named this year's NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year and the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (an honor awarded to him for the eighth time);

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis:

That we hereby honor Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the 2008-09 Mavericks Men’s Basketball Team, and the work of Head Coach Jay Pivec by declaring June 12, 2009 Minneapolis Mavericks Day.

Passed June 12, 2009
 
____________________________________

Barbara A. Johnson, President

Minneapolis City Council

Approved:

____________________________________

R. T. Rybak, Mayor

Attest:

___________________________________

Steve Ristuben, City Clerk

Presidential Response to Faculty Concerns with the SLBC's FY 10 Student Life Budget Recommendations

posted May 29, 2009 1:36 PM by Senate President   [ updated May 29, 2009 1:52 PM by Site Admin ]

Dear Students,
 
While we have already been made aware of President Davis' support for our SLBC decisions, I have been working behind the scenes to appropriately deal with many of faculty's attacks on our students and the process we used to determine the Student Life FY 10 budget.  Below is a copy of the email I received on behalf of the MCTC Faculty Union, along with my response.  This of course was written and sent prior to President Davis' decision, but I think it does a good job of outlining the process we used to make our decisions.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
 
**Faculty Union Letter Begins Here**
 

Dear Mr. Askew,

 

I have attached the letter of support for men's and women's basketball that was unanimously adopted by the MSCF faculty at our meeting of May 13, 2009. Understand that the faculty union fully supports the ongoing funding of MCTC basketball and that we consider the context in which the Student Life Budget Committee made its decision to eliminate a very long standing and highly successful program troubling. Men's and women's collegiate basketball is a major success and the program serves a core student constituency on this campus. Not only does the basketball program recruit and mentor students that would not otherwise seek a college education, it provides opportunities for students to successfully transfer to a 4-year college and earn their bachelor's degree. In addition, the MCTC basketball program is a vital asset to the greater Minneapolis community and provides the one opportunity for students at MCTC to become involved in collegiate sports.

 

The college faculty are saddened that the students on the Student Life Budget Committee, and you as Student Senate President, were unable to see how the men's and women's basketball team is a vital part of the larger campus and community life, and how the program has touched the lives of thousands of MCTC students and alumni over the years. I have personally received emails from former students testifying to how important the basketball program was in shaping who they are today, and how the program and the coaches played a major part in their current success. I have also heard from current MCTC who were shocked to hear that the Student Senate votes to end the program.

 

I know that the students on the Student Life Budget Committee had other new programs that they wished to fund. However, the faculty consider the decision to eliminate the entire basketball program to fund new initiatives as a very unwise choice. If cuts had to be made to existing student life funded programs to fund new initiatives, then those cuts should have been shared across other programs. To simply target one program for termination and zero out its entire budget was not a responsible discussion given the history and impact that the program has had on students at this institution. Please understand that the MCTC faculty is very upset by the SLBC decision and that we are actively working to undo the damage the committee's recommendation has already caused. We will also be seeking to make reforms to the SLBC process for the future.

 

The attached letter will be formally presented to President Phil Davis by a delegation of the faculty next Monday, May 18, 2009.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Eland, MCTC Faculty Union President

 

 

**President Askew's Response Begins Here**  

Good Afternoon MSCF President Eland and Faculty,

 

Thank you for sharing the concerns that you and other faculty have with the students' decision to eliminate funding to our intercollegiate basketball teams at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. To be honest, I delayed any sort of response because I felt (and still feel) that your actions and words displayed disrespect and disregard for our students and the vigorous amount of work they put into developing this year’s Student Life budget recommendation.  As professionals and caring individuals who are said to represent our college and go that "extra mile" on behalf of students, we expected better from you. 

 

President Eland, it is apparent to me that there is confusion about the process students use to determine funding for Student Life Programs each academic year.  MnSCU Policy 2.8 states that “the campus student association shall appoint the student members of the student life activity committee.”  MCTC Policy 4.15 directs that 8 students be appointed by the Student Senate to serve on the Student Life Budget Committee.  While the College President can appoint non-student voting members, this has not occurred for several years, as faculty have expressed many times that they did not want to participate in this process.  MnSCU policy also makes it explicitly clear that students establish a proposed SLBC budget and submit it to the Student Senate for review, which occurred on Wednesday, May 6.  According to Student Senate By-Laws, any recommendation or decision made by SLBC can be overturned by a 2/3 majority vote of the Senate membership.  If Senate members had felt in any way that a decision was inappropriate or unjust, they would have exercised their ability to overturn it.

 

Moving forward, I'd like to give you some context around the decision to eliminate funding for our basketball teams through Student Life fees.  In the last few years, Student Senate has made huge efforts to build the voice of Student Senate and to evaluate what our students really desire from their Student Life program.  According to survey data collected over three years, students have indicated that athletics ranks at the bottom of the list in terms of importance within student life programming.  In the same surveys, students have indicated that they desire services that cater around health care, transportation support, resource and referral, multicultural programming, and expansion of Student Life Clubs & Organizations.  Transportation and health services received the highest student ranking. I would just like to remind you that students approached the Faculty union with a proposal to support development of a health services program on campus in Fall 2008 that gained unanimous support.

 

Upon initiation of the deliberative process, I asked our SLBC members to re-evaluate our programming and determine a menu of services that provides the greatest number of opportunities for the broadest range of students.  They spent several hours interviewing, reviewing requests, and deliberating over what they thought was best for Student Life.  We received more than $1,067,000 in requests for a projected budget of $921,000.  Obviously, we had some tough decisions to make.  I want you all to know that every student on this committee praised our basketball team for all the success they have had over the years.  However, basketball consumes approximately 14% of the Student Life budget, and given the amount of money we needed to cut and the data we had, we had to shift our priorities around.  I can tell you that students made cuts to other areas within Student Life as well. 

 

As you can see, there is quite a bit of context to our decisions.  It disappoints me that our students were harassed and intimidated by some faculty.  None of you took the opportunity to call or email me to discuss your concerns.  I have not yet received word of what President Davis plans to do.  What I do know is that he values the voice of students and the due process we went through to provide what we feel are the most important components of Student Life to our campus community. 

 

On behalf of the students I represent as Student Body President, we will continue to stand and advocate for what we think is best for us.  It is my hope that in the future, we can come together to help form solutions for the students of tomorrow, rather than shame our students for the careful considerations and hard work they put into making appropriate decisions.

 

Respectfully & Humbly Yours,

 

James Scott Lloyd Askew

 

President Davis' Final FY 10 Student Life Budget Decision RE: Intercollegiate Basketball

posted May 17, 2009 4:37 PM by Senate President   [ updated May 31, 2009 9:03 PM by Site Admin ]

Hello Fellow Students,

For your review, I am posting President Davis' response to the SLBC and Student Senate's request to eliminate funding to intercollegiate basketball through student life fees.  If you have any questions or wish to speak with me about this decision, please feel free to contact me.  I am more than willing to sit down with you to review the process that took place to arrive at this decision.

Sincerely Yours,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

**President Davis' Decision Begins Here**

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Student Life Budget Recommendations

and

Intercollegiate Basketball

 

FY 2010

   

In light of the concerns about the future of intercollegiate basketball at MCTC, I am writing to describe my final budget decision for the 2009-2010 student life program, as it relates to the basketball program.

Student Life Budget Development Process

I have reviewed the process used by the Student Senate and the Student Life Budget Committee (SLBC) to develop the 2009-2010 student life program. It is my conclusion that the members of the Student Senate and the SLBC did exemplary work. In fact, I believe their efforts represent the most thoughtful, open and well-researched student life budget process in recent history. That there is controversy about their recommendations does not diminish the effectiveness of the SLBC process.

The Student Senate initiated the SLBC process in accordance with MnSCU and MCTC policies by appointing eight students (and alternates) to serve on the SLBC. The Senate selected members who demonstrated a commitment to this important program and who were willing to devote several months to the process. The SLBC was composed of a diverse group of women and men and included students with disabilities, students of color, GLBT students and others. The committee members were students with a range of personal interests.

It is noteworthy that the Student Senate and the SLBC began the budget deliberations by announcing an open meeting during which all students were invited to suggest principles that would guide the budget process.  Subsequently, the Student Senate launched a sustained communications plan to promote the process for submitting funding proposals to the SLBC. This included establishing an SLBC website and sending direct e-mail messages to all student clubs and organizations.

The SLBC held well-organized public hearings to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to present proposals for programs and activities. Each program or activity was given equal time to make its case for funding and all who wished to be heard received a hearing. Some have complained that the students asked difficult, even challenging questions. With $921,000 at stake, I believe hard questions were both appropriate and necessary. From my own experiences appearing before the students, I can say that they asked difficult, probing questions in a respectful manner. This kind of due diligence is exactly what we should expect.

   

Setting Priorities Based on Student Expectations

The SLBC received more than $1 million in funding requests and had only $921,000 to allocate. Using the results of three years of Student Life Surveys (2007, 2008 & 2009), the SLBC tried to link their decisions to the priorities identified by the student body. The surveys had consistently identified Transportation and Health Services as the two most important services among students, while rating Athletics last among the ten categories in the survey for each of the last three years.

The final SLBC budget recommendations reflect the comprehensive and balanced student life program that is characterized under board policy. The recommendations demonstrate that the SLBC set priorities based on the feedback students provided. The committee reduced spending on programs funded in 2008-2009 by $214,000, taking money from student clubs, the student planner, intercollegiate basketball, and multicultural advisors. In turn, the committee increased funding for health care services, discounted bus passes, programming for American Indian students, the college newspaper, the student honor society, as well as multicultural events, theater and choir programs.

The SLBC members expressed deep concern that they were not able to fund the basketball program, acknowledging its successful history and importance to the college. At the same time, they were fully aware that MCTC students surveyed had rated Athletics at the bottom of their priorities for student life. As the most expensive program, basketball represented approximately 14% of the entire student life budget, when including national travel. The SLBC members felt they had to choose between a high-cost program that served a limited number of students and which had a low priority among the student body and high-demand programs that served thousands of students.  In the end, the SLBC decided to fund activities like affordable, environmentally-friendly transportation and health services for all students, knowing that a full one-third of MCTC students surveyed said they had no health insurance.

Reaction to the Student Life Budget Recommendations

Reaction to the SLBC recommendations was swift and harsh and began even before I received the recommendations from the Student Senate. Opponents of the proposed budget mischaracterized the SLBC as having cut only the basketball program in order to fund new initiatives. They quickly summoned external constituents to lobby in opposition to the students’ recommendations. Student leaders and SLBC members immediately reported being harassed and intimidated by some members of the MCTC faculty.

Respectful, spirited disagreement is the hallmark of healthy debate on any issue. I am accustomed to this kind of communication. I must, however, strongly object to the use of harassment and intimidation as a means of resolving any issue. I do not believe we want our students to learn that being a bully is the best way to achieve a desired outcome. We want our students to exhibit ethical behavior and show respect for others. Certainly they should expect the same of us.  

   

Final Decision

There is no question that the basketball program has produced great benefits for our student-athletes. At the same time, our students have a right to establish the student life program they believe best meets their needs. My role is to ensure that their decisions are based on good data and sound analysis and that those decisions represent the interests of current and future students as well as the college as a whole.

Certainly there are times when the long-term interests of the college and its future students may conflict with the wishes of the current student body. I do not believe this is one of those times.

The MCTC faculty union has asked me to continue the intercollegiate basketball program. The Student Senate and the SLBC believe the programs they have recommended for funding should be supported. In order to promote institutional harmony and protect the integrity of the SLBC process, I have decided to adopt the SLBC recommendations as they relate to intercollegiate basketball and use college funds to continue the intercollegiate basketball program for one year, under the following conditions:

1.       The basketball program will be continued for one year in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the program and to allow sufficient time to raise private funds to support the program for the 2010-2011 season and thereafter.

2.       The funding for the one-year extension will come from a combination of reductions in the program’s 2009-2010 operating budget and a one-time use of college funds.

a.       The basketball program’s regular operating budget of $118,000 will be reduced by $44,000, bringing the adjusted budget for the 2009-2010 season to $74,000. This will be accomplished by eliminating the assistant coach positions for each team and by assigning athletic coordination to administrators.

b.      The revenue required to fund the adjusted operating budget of $74,000 will come from two college accounts. The college will reduce its operating budget for instructional equipment by $37,000 in FY 2010 and apply the funds to the basketball program. The remaining $37,000 will be allocated from the college’s FY 2009 carry-forward funds. 

3.       In the event that either the men’s or women’s basketball team advances to regional or national tournaments during the 2009-2010 season, the cost of travel will be paid from the Student Life Budget Reserve, up to $15,000.

4.       The basketball program will be closed at the end of the 2009-10 season, unless sufficient private philanthropic funds are raised by March 1 of each year to support the program’s regular operating budget of $118,000 for the following season.  No college funds or student life funds will be available for this purpose after FY 2010.

5.       The college will ask the MCTC Foundation to create a fund to support the intercollegiate basketball program. If the Foundation agrees, MCTC employees will be invited to contribute to the fund. All new contributions and all increases in current contributions by employees will be eligible to be assigned to the basketball fund.

6.       The College Advancement staff will solicit gifts from individuals and organizations that have expressed support for the basketball program, provided those solicitations do not displace current efforts to raise scholarship funds for MCTC students.

7.       All fundraising efforts will be conducted under the auspices of College Advancement and in accordance with college and Foundation procedures.

This one-year extension is intended to avoid disruption and dislocation of the basketball program while balancing the need to honor the integrity of the work done by our students. It will provide those who support the basketball program with the time and opportunity to raise funds to support the program’s continuation.

This decision will allow us to focus our energy on the other significant challenges that face our students and our college.

 

Respectfully,

 

Phil Davis

President

 

May 21, 2009

Student Life Budget Committee's 2009-2010 Student Life Budget Recommendations

posted May 8, 2009 12:45 PM by Senate President   [ updated May 17, 2009 5:24 PM by Site Admin ]

Dear MCTC Students,

I initially postponed posting anything related to the outcome of SLBC's 2009-2010 Student Life Budget recommendations until official sign-off from President Davis.  Due to the overwhelming amount of questions and particular interest in the change of funding for our Intercollegiate programming, I have decided to inform you of where we are in the process.

Per MnSCU policy 2.8.1 through 2.8.2, SLBC shall annually recommend to the campus student association (Student Senate) the amount of the fee in the ensuing year, the allocation of revenues, policies and procedures for oversight of the student life/activities budget, and expenditures consistent with system and institution policies and procedures.  According to current MCTC policy, 8 MCTC students appointed by the campus student association (Student Senate) or, specifically, the Student Senate President (as outlined in the MCTC Student Senate By-Laws).  In addition to the 8 members, I selected 2 alternates in the event one of the primary members was unable to participate in any part of the process.

After several hours of interviews with all the groups who proposed budgets, the members of SLBC deliberated for several more hours as to how to appropriately fund Student Life.  Given defined parameters and careful evaluation of program offering at MCTC, they arrived at a final decision.  While I will not yet release that decision until President Davis has signed off, I will inform you that I believe the best decisions for all students were made.  I want to congratulate all the members for their hard work and commitment toward providing a myriad of services to the broadest range of students.  Further, while we have faced adversity through those that would intimidate or shame us for our decisions, I have complete admiration for standing by your decisions and, ultimately, standing up for the greater good of our student base.  I also want to congratulate you for taking the higher road and not responding to what I believe was inappropriate and unnecessary behavior.  All of you made educated decisions and for that you are a shining example of leadership.  You exemplify fiduciary responsibility in the eyes of our students.

As outlined in the MnSCU policy identified above, the president of the institution shall approve, reject or modify the student life/activity fee and/or budget and authorize the collection and expenditure of such fees. The campus student association(s) (Student Senate) shall be consulted on any modification to the association(s)’s budget and expenditure recommendation prior to implementation.

And that, my fellow peers, is where we are at in this process.  Due to the number of concerns that outisde parties have expressed with our decision to not fund intercollegiate sports, we are currently in negotiations with President Davis as to how we can still ensure our students get 100% of what they have asked for, while also satisfying the wants of our constituents to provide what has been referred to as "MCTC's cornerstone tradition."  Let me be clear that the decisions of the SLBC did not come easy.  Careful thought and discussion went into every decision.  Below is a pasted copy of the letter that I sent to President Davis' desk along with the 2009-2010 budget recommendations.  Please continue to check back for the final accepted budget of SLBC and the College.  Thank you again and we look forward to your involvement with next year's Student Senate!

**Letter to President Davis begins here**

To:        President Davis

CC:       Student Senate

              Tara Martinez, Director of Student Life

              Laura Fedock, Associate VP of Student and Academic Affairs

Date:    May 14, 2009

RE:       FY 10 Student Life Budget Recommendation


President Phil Davis,


After a strong, well thought-out, and lengthy review process, I submit to you the SLBC and Student Senate’s approved budget recommendations for Student Life 2009-2010.  I want to assure you that students involved in this process brought as many ideas and perspectives as they possibly could to the table in order to come up with what they feel are the best solutions for our Student Life programs.  Not only have they used information gathered from the current year, they have also used data collected from 2 years worth of student surveys to make their final judgments.  

As you already know, I asked students to re-evaluate our current Student Life programming to ensure it was in alignment with our student body’s wants and needs.  Additionally, I asked them to use information provided to them to create a palette of programming and services that they felt best served the broadest number of students.  Given the state of our current economy and the increasing amount of diverse students pouring into our campus, it is essential we provide maximum opportunities and experiences for a wide variety of students.

 

You and I have had many discussions on what students find of value at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  While I believe we both agree that all the programs we currently offer through Student Life are of value, students have expressed a desire to shift priorities.  Health care, transportation support, cultural programming, and increased club/activity programming are all things our students express interest in.  With a troubled economy and students of all backgrounds coming through our doors, we seek to ensure students are given every opportunity to exceed beyond the classroom.  When we talk to new students at orientation, we strongly encourage them to be involved in our Student Life programs and services so they can be successful.  Student Life should be a place that gives individuals a forum to grow personally and professionally.  It should cater to the most students possible, allowing an opportunity for all dreams to be explored.

 

I’m sure you will find our recommendations thoughtful, appropriate, and reasonable, maintaining an innovative and progressive image that continues to draw students to Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  If we don’t chase our dreams, who will?


**Letter end here**


Respectfully Posted,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

New $.50 Transportation per-credit fee being proposed - Weigh in NOW!

posted Apr 22, 2009 8:50 AM by Senate President   [ updated Apr 22, 2009 8:56 AM by Site Admin ]

Good Morning Students,

So the idea proposed to the Student Life Budget Committee (SLBC) for the 2009-2010 budget is to add another line-item fee to our existing bill that we get when we sign up for classes for a semester. Currently, you see items like Tuition, Technology, Student Life Fee, MSCSA Fee, etc. If this idea were to be supported, we would then recommend to the college to add "Transportation", with a mandatory $.50 per-credit fee. It was stated that this money would be used to subsidize the bus passes further. Other subsidies to students who park in the ramp were not given.

To provide you some background, SLBC helped to subsidize bus passes for the first time last year. We approved a lump sum of $80,000 to be used. It went over very well and thousands of students participated in the program.

Here are the considerations, or the pros and cons if you will, to implementing a mandatory per-credit transportation fee.

1) Students would have continued access to subsidized bus passes. Additionally, we may be able to provide for more than what we had previously in 2008-2009

2) Providing more access to bus passes could help our efforts in going green, as well as give incentive to our students to ride the bus.

3) Parking can get somewhat congested during various times and/or days of the week. If more students take the bus, then we may be able to alleviate the parking congestion

4) At $.50 per-credit, we would generate about $100,000 to go toward bus passes. Again, no consideration will be given to those who pay $2.50 to park in the ramp on a daily basis. If a mandatory fee is implemented, ALL students MUST be able to get one of those bus passes at the reduced rate. $100,000 will simply not be enough to potentially cover 12,000 students. While it is recognized that 12,000 students would not ask for a bus pass, implementing a fee like that means that ALL students should have access to one.

5) Before institutionalization of a fee occurs, consultation must be had with students. It currently has not. 

6) If we continue what we did last year by just "donating" a flat sum to the Transportation area, we are still helping students, but not forcing every single one of them to pay a per-credit fee.

These are the main arguments that have been posed so far on the issue. If you need further information or have any questions/comments, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thanks,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

Congratulations New Executive Board for 2009-2010

posted Apr 17, 2009 7:30 PM by Technology Director   [ updated Apr 17, 2009 7:43 PM by Site Admin ]

The current Executive Board would like to congratulate the newly elected Executive Board. We wish you all luck and look forward to seeing you all do great work next year.

Congratulations to....

President Thomas J. Malaskee
Vice President Corrie Weikle
Director of Communications Geoff Dittberner
Director of Public Relation Christopher Allen
Director of Technology Taylor Kunicki


Sincerly,
The 2008-2009 Executive Board

2009 MSCSA Spring GA/Leadership Conference

posted Feb 25, 2009 1:55 PM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 25, 2009 1:59 PM by Site Admin ]

Greetings Fellow Students,
 
The time is upon us again to participate in the MSCSA's biannual GA/Leadership Conference.  The Spring conference will take place at Breezy Point Resort and is scheduled for April 17-20, 2009.  If you have interest in attending this conference, please fill out an application for student travel located on this website, under Senate Documents.  If you would like more information on what the conference entails, please visit MSCSA's website at www.mscsa.org.  Please be aware that conference details may not be posted to their website until mid-March.  However, visiting this site now will provide context about what the organization is and does for students within the 2-year system.  Thanks again and we look forward to reviewing your application soon!
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
The Student Senate Executive Board

Recommendation for Student Helland Center Build-Out

posted Feb 23, 2009 1:55 PM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 23, 2009 1:58 PM by Site Admin ]

Fellow Students,
 
Below is the memo I sent on behalf of MCTC students to President Phil Davis and the House of Higher Education Committee regarding the Student Helland Center build-out project.
 
Thank you for all the input and feedback you provided regarding this project.  I look forward to watching as this project takes off and makes available to students a wide variety of activities and services.
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
James Askew
 

To:        President Phil Davis

From:    James Askew, MCTC Student Senate President

CC:       House HE Committee, MCTC Student Senate

Date:     2/23/2009

Re:        Request to Increase the Revenue Fund Debt Authority

We received from Minneapolis Community & Technical College students a request to consider utilizing the State Revenue Fund to build out the current Helland Center into a Student Union.  This space will be used to increase activity within Student Life, as well as provide a myriad of services explicitly aimed at ensuring success within our student body.

We submit this recommendation after having engaged in the following activities:

1.     Held open information sessions regarding the logistics of cost, benefit to students, and opportunities this build-out gives to our student body

2.     Reviewed our current budget, the status of the state budgets, and the financial impact this build-out has on the cost of attending Minneapolis Community & Technical College

3.     Continued dialog with the Students, Senate, and interested administrators

Let it be known that on February 11th, 2009, Student Senate hereby recommends that Minneapolis Community & Technical College seek out funding through the use of the Revenue Fund to move forward with the Student Helland Center build-out project.  It is further recommended that students incur an additional $7-per credit fee to assist with repayment of this loan.

It has been my pleasure to work with such passionate students and as President, I fully support this project in hopes of creating a place that attracts all students of various backgrounds to come and be part of such a diverse and vibrant community.  Providing services and space to students that allow for academic success as well as community engagement is at the core of what is most beneficial for students within the realm of higher education.  I look forward to all the opportunities and light this project will bring to our campus, as well as our surrounding community.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Askew

President, Student Senate

Minneapolis Community & Technical College

Notice of President's Veto Decision

posted Feb 16, 2009 2:15 PM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 16, 2009 2:20 PM by Site Admin ]

As provided in the Student Senate By-Laws under Article VII, Voting, Section D., the President may veto a Senate action within 6 class days by contacting the Senate Advisor in writing.  The President must then notify the action's originator(s), as well as all Senators via email and post a notice within six class days.  The Senate may override a Presidential Veto by a 2/3 majority vote.

The rationale provided below serves as my official notice of my right to veto the motion made to add Power of YOU to the February 25th Senate Agenda.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elsbeth Howe, Student Senate Advisorl.  Thank you for your attention in this matter.

TO:         Elsbeth Howe, Student Senate Advisor

 

CC:         Char Coal, Originator of motion

                Charles Rinerson, Originator of motion

                Student Senate

 

From:    James Askew, Student Senate President

 

Date:     February 12, 2009

 

RE:          Veto of Approved Motion to Place Power of YOU on the February 25, 2009 agenda

 
 

On February 11, 2009, Senator Char Coal moved to place Power of YOU on the Student Senate agenda for February 25, 2009.  Senator Charles Rinerson seconded that motion.  Upon no discussion, the motion was passed.  Shortly after, I exercised my right as Student Senate President to veto this motion.  Below are my justifications for carrying out this action.

 
  • 1.       While the Senate does have the right to alter an agenda or rearrange its priorities, it is my duty as President to evaluate such judgments and determine if proper decisions are being made at the proper time.  Since I was not consulted in a manner to determine what was already on the agenda nor was there what I believe to be a collaborative discussion between all students, I can not in good faith allow this motion to pass.
  • 2.       Student Senate has spent many weeks diligently preparing our students for things like tuition increases, Student Life budget appropriations, the Helland Center build-out, and the like.  It is my belief that these issues take higher priority over a pilot program currently funded by private dollars.  We need to first deliberate over the issues affecting all students before we delve into pilot programming.
  • 3.       President Phil Davis and VP Scott Erickson are both scheduled to come and speak to Student Senate on February 25, 2009, regarding the various budgets of the college and how those budgets will play into the future and the financial effects on students.  Because both of these individuals have very tight schedules, I am choosing to maintain our initial agenda and have these two college Administrators as our guests.
 

I always appreciate the enthusiasm and passion students have for various topics within higher education.  However, we all need to work together to ensure these topics, debates, motions, etc., are carried out in a collective and cooperative manner.  I encourage students to consult with their peers, the leadership team, and Student Senate Advisor prior to moving items across the floor without first informing others.  This will avoid any confusion as well as ensure that folks are prepared to address the motion and/or discussion being presented.

 

Thank you so much for your time and understanding in my decision to veto the Senate’s request.  I look forward to seeing many of you at next week’s advocacy day where we will rally our legislators for the needs of students within higher education!

 

Warm Regards,

James Askew, Student Senate President             

USSA's 40th Annual Legislative Conference - Spring 2009

posted Nov 13, 2008 6:49 PM by Senate President   [ updated Nov 13, 2008 6:53 PM by Site Admin ]

Just a heads up, we have now posted the applications for the above conference.  We are asking interested students to print this out and turn it in no later than December 18th.  If you have questions about USSA or what this trip might entail, please see Jon Tendle, Student Senate Vice-President, for more information.  You can also access USSA's website by going to www.usstudents.org
 
Thanks everyone, we look forward to reviewing applicants and selecting our next group to attend this wonderful conference!
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
The Student Senate Executive Board

City of Minneapolis declares June 12 Minneapolis Mavericks Day!

posted Jun 16, 2009, 6:15 AM by Senate President   [ updated Jun 16, 2009, 6:21 AM by Tara Martinez ]

Hello Fellow Students,
 
On June 12, 2009, the Minneapolis City Council adopted a resolution recognizing MCTC's Basketball team and Coach Pivec for all the hard work they have done over the past several years.  Please take a moment to read the resolution below and congratulate our school's team for their amazing accomplishments!
 

Resolution of the City of

Minneapolis

By Ostrow, Gordon, Hofstede, Johnson, Samuels, Lilligren,

Goodman, Glidden, Schiff, Remington, Benson, Colvin Roy and Hodges

Honoring the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks Men’s Basketball Team

Whereas, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Mavericks men’s basketball team held the No. 1 ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III Poll for seven straight weeks during the 2008-09 season;

Whereas, the Mavericks lost just once during the regular season in their third game and then went on to win the next 31 games, capturing their 11th division title in 19 seasons and clinching a post-season berth for the 19th consecutive year;

Whereas, the Mavericks won the NJCAA Region 13 Division III Championship;

Whereas, the Mavericks advanced to the NJCAA’s Division III national title tournament game, falling to Richland College, Texas by a single point;

Whereas, Mavericks’ coach Jay Pivec took over a team with a 0-21 record in 1990 and has led the program to 15 seasons with more than 20 victories;

Whereas, Coach Pivec has coached seven NJCAA First-Team All-Americans at MCTC, the most of any Division III program;

Whereas, two out of every three MCTC men’s basketball players have gone on to play basketball at a four-year college or university;

Whereas, two out of every three of those players who transfer and play basketball graduate with a bachelor’s degree;

Whereas, Coach Pivec was named this year's NJCAA Division III Coach of the Year and the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year (an honor awarded to him for the eighth time);

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by The City Council of The City of Minneapolis:

That we hereby honor Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the 2008-09 Mavericks Men’s Basketball Team, and the work of Head Coach Jay Pivec by declaring June 12, 2009 Minneapolis Mavericks Day.

Passed June 12, 2009
 
____________________________________

Barbara A. Johnson, President

Minneapolis City Council

Approved:

____________________________________

R. T. Rybak, Mayor

Attest:

___________________________________

Steve Ristuben, City Clerk

Presidential Response to Faculty Concerns with the SLBC's FY 10 Student Life Budget Recommendations

posted May 29, 2009, 11:36 AM by Senate President   [ updated May 29, 2009, 11:52 AM by Tara Martinez ]

Dear Students,
 
While we have already been made aware of President Davis' support for our SLBC decisions, I have been working behind the scenes to appropriately deal with many of faculty's attacks on our students and the process we used to determine the Student Life FY 10 budget.  Below is a copy of the email I received on behalf of the MCTC Faculty Union, along with my response.  This of course was written and sent prior to President Davis' decision, but I think it does a good job of outlining the process we used to make our decisions.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
 
**Faculty Union Letter Begins Here**
 

Dear Mr. Askew,

 

I have attached the letter of support for men's and women's basketball that was unanimously adopted by the MSCF faculty at our meeting of May 13, 2009. Understand that the faculty union fully supports the ongoing funding of MCTC basketball and that we consider the context in which the Student Life Budget Committee made its decision to eliminate a very long standing and highly successful program troubling. Men's and women's collegiate basketball is a major success and the program serves a core student constituency on this campus. Not only does the basketball program recruit and mentor students that would not otherwise seek a college education, it provides opportunities for students to successfully transfer to a 4-year college and earn their bachelor's degree. In addition, the MCTC basketball program is a vital asset to the greater Minneapolis community and provides the one opportunity for students at MCTC to become involved in collegiate sports.

 

The college faculty are saddened that the students on the Student Life Budget Committee, and you as Student Senate President, were unable to see how the men's and women's basketball team is a vital part of the larger campus and community life, and how the program has touched the lives of thousands of MCTC students and alumni over the years. I have personally received emails from former students testifying to how important the basketball program was in shaping who they are today, and how the program and the coaches played a major part in their current success. I have also heard from current MCTC who were shocked to hear that the Student Senate votes to end the program.

 

I know that the students on the Student Life Budget Committee had other new programs that they wished to fund. However, the faculty consider the decision to eliminate the entire basketball program to fund new initiatives as a very unwise choice. If cuts had to be made to existing student life funded programs to fund new initiatives, then those cuts should have been shared across other programs. To simply target one program for termination and zero out its entire budget was not a responsible discussion given the history and impact that the program has had on students at this institution. Please understand that the MCTC faculty is very upset by the SLBC decision and that we are actively working to undo the damage the committee's recommendation has already caused. We will also be seeking to make reforms to the SLBC process for the future.

 

The attached letter will be formally presented to President Phil Davis by a delegation of the faculty next Monday, May 18, 2009.

 

Sincerely,

Thomas Eland, MCTC Faculty Union President

 

 

**President Askew's Response Begins Here**

 

Good Afternoon MSCF President Eland and Faculty,

 

Thank you for sharing the concerns that you and other faculty have with the students' decision to eliminate funding to our intercollegiate basketball teams at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. To be honest, I delayed any sort of response because I felt (and still feel) that your actions and words displayed disrespect and disregard for our students and the vigorous amount of work they put into developing this year’s Student Life budget recommendation.  As professionals and caring individuals who are said to represent our college and go that "extra mile" on behalf of students, we expected better from you. 

 

President Eland, it is apparent to me that there is confusion about the process students use to determine funding for Student Life Programs each academic year.  MnSCU Policy 2.8 states that “the campus student association shall appoint the student members of the student life activity committee.”  MCTC Policy 4.15 directs that 8 students be appointed by the Student Senate to serve on the Student Life Budget Committee.  While the College President can appoint non-student voting members, this has not occurred for several years, as faculty have expressed many times that they did not want to participate in this process.  MnSCU policy also makes it explicitly clear that students establish a proposed SLBC budget and submit it to the Student Senate for review, which occurred on Wednesday, May 6.  According to Student Senate By-Laws, any recommendation or decision made by SLBC can be overturned by a 2/3 majority vote of the Senate membership.  If Senate members had felt in any way that a decision was inappropriate or unjust, they would have exercised their ability to overturn it.

 

Moving forward, I'd like to give you some context around the decision to eliminate funding for our basketball teams through Student Life fees.  In the last few years, Student Senate has made huge efforts to build the voice of Student Senate and to evaluate what our students really desire from their Student Life program.  According to survey data collected over three years, students have indicated that athletics ranks at the bottom of the list in terms of importance within student life programming.  In the same surveys, students have indicated that they desire services that cater around health care, transportation support, resource and referral, multicultural programming, and expansion of Student Life Clubs & Organizations.  Transportation and health services received the highest student ranking. I would just like to remind you that students approached the Faculty union with a proposal to support development of a health services program on campus in Fall 2008 that gained unanimous support.

 

Upon initiation of the deliberative process, I asked our SLBC members to re-evaluate our programming and determine a menu of services that provides the greatest number of opportunities for the broadest range of students.  They spent several hours interviewing, reviewing requests, and deliberating over what they thought was best for Student Life.  We received more than $1,067,000 in requests for a projected budget of $921,000.  Obviously, we had some tough decisions to make.  I want you all to know that every student on this committee praised our basketball team for all the success they have had over the years.  However, basketball consumes approximately 14% of the Student Life budget, and given the amount of money we needed to cut and the data we had, we had to shift our priorities around.  I can tell you that students made cuts to other areas within Student Life as well. 

 

As you can see, there is quite a bit of context to our decisions.  It disappoints me that our students were harassed and intimidated by some faculty.  None of you took the opportunity to call or email me to discuss your concerns.  I have not yet received word of what President Davis plans to do.  What I do know is that he values the voice of students and the due process we went through to provide what we feel are the most important components of Student Life to our campus community. 

 

On behalf of the students I represent as Student Body President, we will continue to stand and advocate for what we think is best for us.  It is my hope that in the future, we can come together to help form solutions for the students of tomorrow, rather than shame our students for the careful considerations and hard work they put into making appropriate decisions.

 

Respectfully & Humbly Yours,

 

James Scott Lloyd Askew

 

President Davis' Final FY 10 Student Life Budget Decision RE: Intercollegiate Basketball

posted May 17, 2009, 2:37 PM by Senate President   [ updated May 31, 2009, 7:03 PM by Tara Martinez ]

Hello Fellow Students,

For your review, I am posting President Davis' response to the SLBC and Student Senate's request to eliminate funding to intercollegiate basketball through student life fees.  If you have any questions or wish to speak with me about this decision, please feel free to contact me.  I am more than willing to sit down with you to review the process that took place to arrive at this decision.

Sincerely Yours,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

**President Davis' Decision Begins Here**

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Student Life Budget Recommendations

and

Intercollegiate Basketball

 

FY 2010

 

 

In light of the concerns about the future of intercollegiate basketball at MCTC, I am writing to describe my final budget decision for the 2009-2010 student life program, as it relates to the basketball program.

Student Life Budget Development Process

I have reviewed the process used by the Student Senate and the Student Life Budget Committee (SLBC) to develop the 2009-2010 student life program. It is my conclusion that the members of the Student Senate and the SLBC did exemplary work. In fact, I believe their efforts represent the most thoughtful, open and well-researched student life budget process in recent history. That there is controversy about their recommendations does not diminish the effectiveness of the SLBC process.

The Student Senate initiated the SLBC process in accordance with MnSCU and MCTC policies by appointing eight students (and alternates) to serve on the SLBC. The Senate selected members who demonstrated a commitment to this important program and who were willing to devote several months to the process. The SLBC was composed of a diverse group of women and men and included students with disabilities, students of color, GLBT students and others. The committee members were students with a range of personal interests.

It is noteworthy that the Student Senate and the SLBC began the budget deliberations by announcing an open meeting during which all students were invited to suggest principles that would guide the budget process.  Subsequently, the Student Senate launched a sustained communications plan to promote the process for submitting funding proposals to the SLBC. This included establishing an SLBC website and sending direct e-mail messages to all student clubs and organizations.

The SLBC held well-organized public hearings to give students, faculty and staff the opportunity to present proposals for programs and activities. Each program or activity was given equal time to make its case for funding and all who wished to be heard received a hearing. Some have complained that the students asked difficult, even challenging questions. With $921,000 at stake, I believe hard questions were both appropriate and necessary. From my own experiences appearing before the students, I can say that they asked difficult, probing questions in a respectful manner. This kind of due diligence is exactly what we should expect.

 

 

Setting Priorities Based on Student Expectations

The SLBC received more than $1 million in funding requests and had only $921,000 to allocate. Using the results of three years of Student Life Surveys (2007, 2008 & 2009), the SLBC tried to link their decisions to the priorities identified by the student body. The surveys had consistently identified Transportation and Health Services as the two most important services among students, while rating Athletics last among the ten categories in the survey for each of the last three years.

The final SLBC budget recommendations reflect the comprehensive and balanced student life program that is characterized under board policy. The recommendations demonstrate that the SLBC set priorities based on the feedback students provided. The committee reduced spending on programs funded in 2008-2009 by $214,000, taking money from student clubs, the student planner, intercollegiate basketball, and multicultural advisors. In turn, the committee increased funding for health care services, discounted bus passes, programming for American Indian students, the college newspaper, the student honor society, as well as multicultural events, theater and choir programs.

The SLBC members expressed deep concern that they were not able to fund the basketball program, acknowledging its successful history and importance to the college. At the same time, they were fully aware that MCTC students surveyed had rated Athletics at the bottom of their priorities for student life. As the most expensive program, basketball represented approximately 14% of the entire student life budget, when including national travel. The SLBC members felt they had to choose between a high-cost program that served a limited number of students and which had a low priority among the student body and high-demand programs that served thousands of students.  In the end, the SLBC decided to fund activities like affordable, environmentally-friendly transportation and health services for all students, knowing that a full one-third of MCTC students surveyed said they had no health insurance.

Reaction to the Student Life Budget Recommendations

Reaction to the SLBC recommendations was swift and harsh and began even before I received the recommendations from the Student Senate. Opponents of the proposed budget mischaracterized the SLBC as having cut only the basketball program in order to fund new initiatives. They quickly summoned external constituents to lobby in opposition to the students’ recommendations. Student leaders and SLBC members immediately reported being harassed and intimidated by some members of the MCTC faculty.

Respectful, spirited disagreement is the hallmark of healthy debate on any issue. I am accustomed to this kind of communication. I must, however, strongly object to the use of harassment and intimidation as a means of resolving any issue. I do not believe we want our students to learn that being a bully is the best way to achieve a desired outcome. We want our students to exhibit ethical behavior and show respect for others. Certainly they should expect the same of us.  

 

 

Final Decision

There is no question that the basketball program has produced great benefits for our student-athletes. At the same time, our students have a right to establish the student life program they believe best meets their needs. My role is to ensure that their decisions are based on good data and sound analysis and that those decisions represent the interests of current and future students as well as the college as a whole.

Certainly there are times when the long-term interests of the college and its future students may conflict with the wishes of the current student body. I do not believe this is one of those times.

The MCTC faculty union has asked me to continue the intercollegiate basketball program. The Student Senate and the SLBC believe the programs they have recommended for funding should be supported. In order to promote institutional harmony and protect the integrity of the SLBC process, I have decided to adopt the SLBC recommendations as they relate to intercollegiate basketball and use college funds to continue the intercollegiate basketball program for one year, under the following conditions:

1.       The basketball program will be continued for one year in order to avoid unnecessary disruption to the program and to allow sufficient time to raise private funds to support the program for the 2010-2011 season and thereafter.

2.       The funding for the one-year extension will come from a combination of reductions in the program’s 2009-2010 operating budget and a one-time use of college funds.

a.       The basketball program’s regular operating budget of $118,000 will be reduced by $44,000, bringing the adjusted budget for the 2009-2010 season to $74,000. This will be accomplished by eliminating the assistant coach positions for each team and by assigning athletic coordination to administrators.

b.      The revenue required to fund the adjusted operating budget of $74,000 will come from two college accounts. The college will reduce its operating budget for instructional equipment by $37,000 in FY 2010 and apply the funds to the basketball program. The remaining $37,000 will be allocated from the college’s FY 2009 carry-forward funds. 

3.       In the event that either the men’s or women’s basketball team advances to regional or national tournaments during the 2009-2010 season, the cost of travel will be paid from the Student Life Budget Reserve, up to $15,000.

4.       The basketball program will be closed at the end of the 2009-10 season, unless sufficient private philanthropic funds are raised by March 1 of each year to support the program’s regular operating budget of $118,000 for the following season.  No college funds or student life funds will be available for this purpose after FY 2010.

5.       The college will ask the MCTC Foundation to create a fund to support the intercollegiate basketball program. If the Foundation agrees, MCTC employees will be invited to contribute to the fund. All new contributions and all increases in current contributions by employees will be eligible to be assigned to the basketball fund.

6.       The College Advancement staff will solicit gifts from individuals and organizations that have expressed support for the basketball program, provided those solicitations do not displace current efforts to raise scholarship funds for MCTC students.

7.       All fundraising efforts will be conducted under the auspices of College Advancement and in accordance with college and Foundation procedures.

This one-year extension is intended to avoid disruption and dislocation of the basketball program while balancing the need to honor the integrity of the work done by our students. It will provide those who support the basketball program with the time and opportunity to raise funds to support the program’s continuation.

This decision will allow us to focus our energy on the other significant challenges that face our students and our college.

 

Respectfully,

 

Phil Davis

President

 

May 21, 2009

Student Life Budget Committee's 2009-2010 Student Life Budget Recommendations

posted May 8, 2009, 10:45 AM by Senate President   [ updated May 17, 2009, 3:24 PM by Tara Martinez ]

Dear MCTC Students,

I initially postponed posting anything related to the outcome of SLBC's 2009-2010 Student Life Budget recommendations until official sign-off from President Davis.  Due to the overwhelming amount of questions and particular interest in the change of funding for our Intercollegiate programming, I have decided to inform you of where we are in the process.

Per MnSCU policy 2.8.1 through 2.8.2, SLBC shall annually recommend to the campus student association (Student Senate) the amount of the fee in the ensuing year, the allocation of revenues, policies and procedures for oversight of the student life/activities budget, and expenditures consistent with system and institution policies and procedures.  According to current MCTC policy, 8 MCTC students appointed by the campus student association (Student Senate) or, specifically, the Student Senate President (as outlined in the MCTC Student Senate By-Laws).  In addition to the 8 members, I selected 2 alternates in the event one of the primary members was unable to participate in any part of the process.

After several hours of interviews with all the groups who proposed budgets, the members of SLBC deliberated for several more hours as to how to appropriately fund Student Life.  Given defined parameters and careful evaluation of program offering at MCTC, they arrived at a final decision.  While I will not yet release that decision until President Davis has signed off, I will inform you that I believe the best decisions for all students were made.  I want to congratulate all the members for their hard work and commitment toward providing a myriad of services to the broadest range of students.  Further, while we have faced adversity through those that would intimidate or shame us for our decisions, I have complete admiration for standing by your decisions and, ultimately, standing up for the greater good of our student base.  I also want to congratulate you for taking the higher road and not responding to what I believe was inappropriate and unnecessary behavior.  All of you made educated decisions and for that you are a shining example of leadership.  You exemplify fiduciary responsibility in the eyes of our students.

As outlined in the MnSCU policy identified above, the president of the institution shall approve, reject or modify the student life/activity fee and/or budget and authorize the collection and expenditure of such fees. The campus student association(s) (Student Senate) shall be consulted on any modification to the association(s)’s budget and expenditure recommendation prior to implementation.

And that, my fellow peers, is where we are at in this process.  Due to the number of concerns that outisde parties have expressed with our decision to not fund intercollegiate sports, we are currently in negotiations with President Davis as to how we can still ensure our students get 100% of what they have asked for, while also satisfying the wants of our constituents to provide what has been referred to as "MCTC's cornerstone tradition."  Let me be clear that the decisions of the SLBC did not come easy.  Careful thought and discussion went into every decision.  Below is a pasted copy of the letter that I sent to President Davis' desk along with the 2009-2010 budget recommendations.  Please continue to check back for the final accepted budget of SLBC and the College.  Thank you again and we look forward to your involvement with next year's Student Senate!

**Letter to President Davis begins here**

To:        President Davis

CC:       Student Senate

              Tara Martinez, Director of Student Life

              Laura Fedock, Associate VP of Student and Academic Affairs

Date:    May 14, 2009

RE:       FY 10 Student Life Budget Recommendation


President Phil Davis,


After a strong, well thought-out, and lengthy review process, I submit to you the SLBC and Student Senate’s approved budget recommendations for Student Life 2009-2010.  I want to assure you that students involved in this process brought as many ideas and perspectives as they possibly could to the table in order to come up with what they feel are the best solutions for our Student Life programs.  Not only have they used information gathered from the current year, they have also used data collected from 2 years worth of student surveys to make their final judgments.

 

As you already know, I asked students to re-evaluate our current Student Life programming to ensure it was in alignment with our student body’s wants and needs.  Additionally, I asked them to use information provided to them to create a palette of programming and services that they felt best served the broadest number of students.  Given the state of our current economy and the increasing amount of diverse students pouring into our campus, it is essential we provide maximum opportunities and experiences for a wide variety of students.

 

You and I have had many discussions on what students find of value at Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  While I believe we both agree that all the programs we currently offer through Student Life are of value, students have expressed a desire to shift priorities.  Health care, transportation support, cultural programming, and increased club/activity programming are all things our students express interest in.  With a troubled economy and students of all backgrounds coming through our doors, we seek to ensure students are given every opportunity to exceed beyond the classroom.  When we talk to new students at orientation, we strongly encourage them to be involved in our Student Life programs and services so they can be successful.  Student Life should be a place that gives individuals a forum to grow personally and professionally.  It should cater to the most students possible, allowing an opportunity for all dreams to be explored.

 

I’m sure you will find our recommendations thoughtful, appropriate, and reasonable, maintaining an innovative and progressive image that continues to draw students to Minneapolis Community & Technical College.  If we don’t chase our dreams, who will?


**Letter end here**


Respectfully Posted,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

New $.50 Transportation per-credit fee being proposed - Weigh in NOW!

posted Apr 22, 2009, 6:50 AM by Senate President   [ updated Apr 22, 2009, 6:56 AM by Tara Martinez ]

Good Morning Students,

So the idea proposed to the Student Life Budget Committee (SLBC) for the 2009-2010 budget is to add another line-item fee to our existing bill that we get when we sign up for classes for a semester. Currently, you see items like Tuition, Technology, Student Life Fee, MSCSA Fee, etc. If this idea were to be supported, we would then recommend to the college to add "Transportation", with a mandatory $.50 per-credit fee. It was stated that this money would be used to subsidize the bus passes further. Other subsidies to students who park in the ramp were not given.

To provide you some background, SLBC helped to subsidize bus passes for the first time last year. We approved a lump sum of $80,000 to be used. It went over very well and thousands of students participated in the program.

Here are the considerations, or the pros and cons if you will, to implementing a mandatory per-credit transportation fee.

1) Students would have continued access to subsidized bus passes. Additionally, we may be able to provide for more than what we had previously in 2008-2009

2) Providing more access to bus passes could help our efforts in going green, as well as give incentive to our students to ride the bus.

3) Parking can get somewhat congested during various times and/or days of the week. If more students take the bus, then we may be able to alleviate the parking congestion

4) At $.50 per-credit, we would generate about $100,000 to go toward bus passes. Again, no consideration will be given to those who pay $2.50 to park in the ramp on a daily basis. If a mandatory fee is implemented, ALL students MUST be able to get one of those bus passes at the reduced rate. $100,000 will simply not be enough to potentially cover 12,000 students. While it is recognized that 12,000 students would not ask for a bus pass, implementing a fee like that means that ALL students should have access to one.

5) Before institutionalization of a fee occurs, consultation must be had with students. It currently has not. 

6) If we continue what we did last year by just "donating" a flat sum to the Transportation area, we are still helping students, but not forcing every single one of them to pay a per-credit fee.

These are the main arguments that have been posed so far on the issue. If you need further information or have any questions/comments, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thanks,

James Askew
President, Student Senate

Congratulations New Executive Board for 2009-2010

posted Apr 17, 2009, 5:30 PM by Technology Director   [ updated Apr 17, 2009, 5:43 PM by Tara Martinez ]

The current Executive Board would like to congratulate the newly elected Executive Board. We wish you all luck and look forward to seeing you all do great work next year.

Congratulations to....

President Thomas J. Malaskee
Vice President Corrie Weikle
Director of Communications Geoff Dittberner
Director of Public Relation Christopher Allen
Director of Technology Taylor Kunicki


Sincerly,
The 2008-2009 Executive Board

2009 MSCSA Spring GA/Leadership Conference

posted Feb 25, 2009, 11:55 AM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 25, 2009, 11:59 AM by Tara Martinez ]

Greetings Fellow Students,
 
The time is upon us again to participate in the MSCSA's biannual GA/Leadership Conference.  The Spring conference will take place at Breezy Point Resort and is scheduled for April 17-20, 2009.  If you have interest in attending this conference, please fill out an application for student travel located on this website, under Senate Documents.  If you would like more information on what the conference entails, please visit MSCSA's website at www.mscsa.org.  Please be aware that conference details may not be posted to their website until mid-March.  However, visiting this site now will provide context about what the organization is and does for students within the 2-year system.  Thanks again and we look forward to reviewing your application soon!
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
The Student Senate Executive Board

Recommendation for Student Helland Center Build-Out

posted Feb 23, 2009, 11:55 AM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 23, 2009, 11:58 AM by Tara Martinez ]

Fellow Students,
 
Below is the memo I sent on behalf of MCTC students to President Phil Davis and the House of Higher Education Committee regarding the Student Helland Center build-out project.
 
Thank you for all the input and feedback you provided regarding this project.  I look forward to watching as this project takes off and makes available to students a wide variety of activities and services.
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
James Askew
 

To:        President Phil Davis

From:    James Askew, MCTC Student Senate President

CC:       House HE Committee, MCTC Student Senate

Date:     2/23/2009

Re:        Request to Increase the Revenue Fund Debt Authority

We received from Minneapolis Community & Technical College students a request to consider utilizing the State Revenue Fund to build out the current Helland Center into a Student Union.  This space will be used to increase activity within Student Life, as well as provide a myriad of services explicitly aimed at ensuring success within our student body.

We submit this recommendation after having engaged in the following activities:

1.     Held open information sessions regarding the logistics of cost, benefit to students, and opportunities this build-out gives to our student body

2.     Reviewed our current budget, the status of the state budgets, and the financial impact this build-out has on the cost of attending Minneapolis Community & Technical College

3.     Continued dialog with the Students, Senate, and interested administrators

Let it be known that on February 11th, 2009, Student Senate hereby recommends that Minneapolis Community & Technical College seek out funding through the use of the Revenue Fund to move forward with the Student Helland Center build-out project.  It is further recommended that students incur an additional $7-per credit fee to assist with repayment of this loan.

It has been my pleasure to work with such passionate students and as President, I fully support this project in hopes of creating a place that attracts all students of various backgrounds to come and be part of such a diverse and vibrant community.  Providing services and space to students that allow for academic success as well as community engagement is at the core of what is most beneficial for students within the realm of higher education.  I look forward to all the opportunities and light this project will bring to our campus, as well as our surrounding community.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Askew

President, Student Senate

Minneapolis Community & Technical College

Notice of President's Veto Decision

posted Feb 16, 2009, 12:15 PM by Senate President   [ updated Feb 16, 2009, 12:20 PM by Tara Martinez ]

As provided in the Student Senate By-Laws under Article VII, Voting, Section D., the President may veto a Senate action within 6 class days by contacting the Senate Advisor in writing.  The President must then notify the action's originator(s), as well as all Senators via email and post a notice within six class days.  The Senate may override a Presidential Veto by a 2/3 majority vote.

The rationale provided below serves as my official notice of my right to veto the motion made to add Power of YOU to the February 25th Senate Agenda.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elsbeth Howe, Student Senate Advisorl.  Thank you for your attention in this matter.

TO:         Elsbeth Howe, Student Senate Advisor

 

CC:         Char Coal, Originator of motion

                Charles Rinerson, Originator of motion

                Student Senate

 

From:    James Askew, Student Senate President

 

Date:     February 12, 2009

 

RE:          Veto of Approved Motion to Place Power of YOU on the February 25, 2009 agenda

 

 

On February 11, 2009, Senator Char Coal moved to place Power of YOU on the Student Senate agenda for February 25, 2009.  Senator Charles Rinerson seconded that motion.  Upon no discussion, the motion was passed.  Shortly after, I exercised my right as Student Senate President to veto this motion.  Below are my justifications for carrying out this action.

 

  • 1.       While the Senate does have the right to alter an agenda or rearrange its priorities, it is my duty as President to evaluate such judgments and determine if proper decisions are being made at the proper time.  Since I was not consulted in a manner to determine what was already on the agenda nor was there what I believe to be a collaborative discussion between all students, I can not in good faith allow this motion to pass.
  • 2.       Student Senate has spent many weeks diligently preparing our students for things like tuition increases, Student Life budget appropriations, the Helland Center build-out, and the like.  It is my belief that these issues take higher priority over a pilot program currently funded by private dollars.  We need to first deliberate over the issues affecting all students before we delve into pilot programming.
  • 3.       President Phil Davis and VP Scott Erickson are both scheduled to come and speak to Student Senate on February 25, 2009, regarding the various budgets of the college and how those budgets will play into the future and the financial effects on students.  Because both of these individuals have very tight schedules, I am choosing to maintain our initial agenda and have these two college Administrators as our guests.

 

I always appreciate the enthusiasm and passion students have for various topics within higher education.  However, we all need to work together to ensure these topics, debates, motions, etc., are carried out in a collective and cooperative manner.  I encourage students to consult with their peers, the leadership team, and Student Senate Advisor prior to moving items across the floor without first informing others.  This will avoid any confusion as well as ensure that folks are prepared to address the motion and/or discussion being presented.

 

Thank you so much for your time and understanding in my decision to veto the Senate’s request.  I look forward to seeing many of you at next week’s advocacy day where we will rally our legislators for the needs of students within higher education!

 

Warm Regards,

James Askew, Student Senate President             

USSA's 40th Annual Legislative Conference - Spring 2009

posted Nov 13, 2008, 4:49 PM by Senate President   [ updated Nov 13, 2008, 4:53 PM by Tara Martinez ]

Just a heads up, we have now posted the applications for the above conference.  We are asking interested students to print this out and turn it in no later than December 18th.  If you have questions about USSA or what this trip might entail, please see Jon Tendle, Student Senate Vice-President, for more information.  You can also access USSA's website by going to www.usstudents.org
 
Thanks everyone, we look forward to reviewing applicants and selecting our next group to attend this wonderful conference!
 
Sincerely Yours,
 
The Student Senate Executive Board

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