MSA considers four new resolutions

One resolution calls for emergency phones on every block of the University area.

Jens Krogstad

The Minnesota Student Association is considering a new project it hopes will lower housing costs and increase student safety on and around campus.

MSA Vice President Jeff Nath presented a set of four resolutions dubbed “Project Lighthouse” to the Forum on Tuesday.

The first resolution states that University meal plans need to be cheaper and more flexible, and the cost of apartments, such as Riverbend Commons, must be reduced. In addition to lowering costs, additional safe, on-campus housing needs to be provided to students.

Nath said he is least optimistic about this resolution because MSA has met significant opposition from the University in the past.

The second resolution calls for better campus lighting, especially on the St. Paul campus, and placement of emergency phones on every block of the University area.

The third resolution asks University police to make area crime reports available to students. It also states that monthly crime reports should be published in The Minnesota Daily and on the MSA Web site.

The fourth resolution addresses code violations in University-area rental homes. Nath said over-occupancy is as much the landlords’ fault as it is the students’.

“Many landlords encourage over-occupancy as a way to afford their rates,” he said.

The resolution states that current penalties for landlords in violation of housing codes are weak.

It calls for increased penalties, a re-evaluation of housing codes and stiffer housing codes and zoning laws.

Nath said he began working on the project shortly after a September house fire killed three University students.

He said even though it is a long-term project, there is a sense of urgency.

“We can no longer afford to sit idly by while these problems continue to grow,” Nath said. “Students need to step up to bat on this.”

Nath said the project requires the cooperation of the University, its surrounding neighborhoods and state government.

“This is not going to get done in a year,” he said. “We’ll be lucky if it gets done in five.”

The Forum will vote on the four resolutions individually at its next meeting in two weeks. The resolution was also authored by the University Senate’s student affairs committee Chairman Adam van Wagner.

The Forum passed a resolution by MSA President Eric Dyer stating student requests to University administration regarding an on-campus football stadium.

The resolution asks that students have seating priority, that East Bank parking not be reduced and that all funding outside the University be pursued vigorously.