MSA backs tuition discounts, paratransit service funding

by Rebecca Czaplewski

As onlookers strolled by, the Minnesota Student Association passed five resolutions in quick succession Tuesday afternoon during an open MSA Forum meeting, which was held in the Fireside Lounge of Coffman Union.
After opening the meeting with a fireside chat from MSA speaker Ben Bowman, the forum held a presentation on the biennial budget proposal.
Presenter Liz Eull, a representative from the University’s budget office, spoke before the forum in what included a multimedia presentation. Eull went through the five main points of the proposal, which is submitted every two years by the University to the state Legislature.
MSA President Nikki Kubista spoke out on the importance of being able to present the proposal in the open forum of Coffman Union for all students to observe.
“This is an honest understanding of how important a comprehensive student voice is,” Kubista said.
Of the five resolutions passed, the three major ones dealt with a proposed tuition plan, the University Paratransit Service and a proposed “Random Acts of Kindness Week.”
MSA voted to endorse a University tuition plan that would allow students to receive a 50 percent discount on tuition for each credit over 12. MSA member Shumaila Anwer proposed the resolution to forum.
“This is important that we be there, to back up or help advertise this plan,” Anwer said.
The forum voted to support the Student Senate’s decision to allocate money to help continue funding the paratransit service, which will run out of its initial funds in June.
They also voted to pass a resolution for a “Random Acts of Kindness Week,” which will be a week of free food and prizes from student organizations during the first week of spring quarter.
MSA member Hillary Walters said many organizations have already contacted the student group to be included in the plans, including Boynton Health Service, who proposed to give free massages to students.
Other resolutions passed dealt with town hall meetings held in University residence halls and a set standard for future MSA fees proposals.
An upcoming MSA-sponsored event was also discussed by the forum: “Pack Mariucci Day,” an event held in conjunction with women’s hockey. The student association will give out free tickets to this Friday’s women’s hockey game to promote school spirit.
The open forum meeting did attract a few students who sat down and observed the members. Delia Johnson, a College of Liberal Arts senior, sat at a nearby table to study but ended up listening to the presentations. She expressed an interest in joining MSA in the future, and enjoyed the chance to see the group in action.