A guide to the three UMN Twin Cities student governments

Michelle Griffith

Minnesota Student Association

MSA is the undergraduate student government body. MSA members meet every other week to discuss issues students are experiencing on campus. The leaders of MSA, such as President Mina Kian and Vice President Jael Kerandi, meet regularly with University administration and the University Police Department to advocate for changes — especially ones students would like to see. For example, a MSA resolution, along with student advocacy and public support, spurred the state legislature to pass a bill which bans predatory landlord practices. 

If you feel like something needs to be done on campus to better help students, go to MSA and voice your opinion. They are located in room 202 of Coffman Student Union. MSA is one of the few pipelines straight to University administration.

Professional Student Government 

Are you a professional student? Then PSG is where you will want to go to voice your ideas and concerns. PSG consists of multiple councils, each representing a professional school or program. Representatives from each council sit on PSG’s three branches: Congress, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court. Similar to MSA, PSG also regularly meets with University administrators to advocate for issues unique to professional students.

Last year, PSG advocated for many issues including lower tuition rates and more professional-student-oriented mental health resources. PSG President Josh Clancy said this year, he hopes to see PSG focus on supporting environmental sustainability and reducing stigma in mental health.

Council of Graduate Students 

Last spring, there were more than 11,000 graduate students at the U — and COGS represents all of them. Many graduate students are teaching assistants and researchers on top of their coursework. COGS advocates for student issues that are often specific to graduate students, like a reduction in program fees. Each University graduate program can elect one voting member to COGS’s General Assembly, which meets every other week. Many programs have representatives, which means the general assemblies can consist of upwards of 60 people, depending who is available to meet. COGS also has direct lines to University administration, especially the Graduate School, to shed light on graduate student issues. An increase in travel grants and better coverage in the Graduate Student Health Plan are among some of the issues COGS leadership said it hopes to tackle this year.