The Minnesota Student Association, among other student government groups, recently gained new responsibilities which could increase its ability to represent college students.
MSA is now considered an official legislative body that will work with administrators to reach campus policy decisions. Previously, the group was no more powerful than other student organizations, despite the fact that some of its members receive paychecks — paychecks whose value increased earlier this year.
This new authority will allow MSA to more effectively represent students. An MSA document highlighting fall semester accomplishments reveals the many hoops through which its leaders had to jump in order to influence policy. Among these hoops were the need to form committees and draft proposals.
While steps like those are important, we hope MSA’s increased authority will expedite the governing process and ensure that students will be able to experience concrete and beneficial policy changes.
We urge MSA to vigorously embrace its new responsibilities when representing students. We applaud the administration for prioritizing student voices, but we also recognize how many administrative decisions — such as the often criticized Campus Climate Working Group — serve as only formalities, bringing few real policy changes.
Decisions regarding issues such as campus diversity and rising tuition rates could greatly benefit from student input. We hope the new status of student government groups will actually accommodate that and that University administration will treat student leaders as professionals rather than