MSA to push tuition freeze, amnesty

It also held elections for several vacant positions.

by Cody Nelson

The Minnesota Student Association will push for a tuition freeze and medical amnesty in the 2013 state legislative session.

At MSA’s Tuesday forum, leaders announced which issues they would advocate for at the Capitol and held elections for eight vacant positions.

MSA will begin its public push for these issues at “Support the U Day” next month.

The group hopes to “stake our claim and show that we are important,” said Minnesota State Legislative Coalition chair Matt Forstie.

MSA and MSLC will also advocate for Gov. Mark Dayton’s 2014-15 biennial  budget proposal, which allowed for a tuition freeze.

“[The budget proposal] was definitely a statement in support of higher education,” Forstie said.

A medical amnesty bill will also be introduced in the 2013 state legislative session, an issue MSA resolved to support last month. Medical amnesty laws provide underage individuals protection from a citation when they have been drinking alcohol and call for medical assistance. Forstie said legislators are set to introduce a bill, but he declined to release their names.

Several other Big Ten schools currently have medical amnesty policies in place at either the state or campus level, but no similar policy is in place for the University.

Eight empty positions filled

MSA also held elections for multiple empty positions at its Tuesday meeting.

 Fiona Cummings was elected to director of the  Student Outreach and Engagement Committee, and  Patrick Mars was voted to be a ranking at-large representative and will serve on the MSA executive board.

Mars said he hopes to portray the University in a positive way when the Vikings play in TCF Bank Stadium during construction of their new stadium.

Six new at-large representatives were also chosen from a pool of 13

One at-large representative resigned via email during Tuesday’s forum, which made a sixth at-large representative position available.

The openings were caused by former members graduating, leaving the University or studying abroad this semester, MSA Speaker of the Forum Sophie Wallerstedt said.

“I don’t think anyone is leaving because they don’t want to be a part of the MSA anymore,” Wallerstedt said.

MSA also voted in favor of changes to voting requirements for all-campus elections, allowing students studying abroad to vote.

Previously, students abroad could run for positions but not vote.