Minnesota Student Association to push for charging stations

A new system for student release questions was also passed Tuesday.

Cody Nelson

 

The Minnesota Student Association will push for installation of cellphone charging stations in high-traffic areas on the University of Minnesota campus.

If budget allocations are passed at the next forum Feb. 19, MSA will begin the initiative by testing the chargers in the Science Teaching and Student Services building, said Mick Hedberg, co-director of MSA’s Facilities, Housing and Transit Committee .

“A lot of students are out and about for the entire day, and their phones die out,” Hedberg said. “It’s a common sense thing that’s pretty cost-effective to do.”

The stations will be paid for using money from MSA’s special projects fund, which comes from student services fees. The units would be wall-mounted and feature six to eight connections for common phone types.

Inspiration for installing charging stations came from the success of similar initiatives at other Big Ten universities, Hedberg said.

If the program is successful, MSA has plans to expand outside the initial pilot program in STSS.

Instructor evaluations public

MSA also unanimously passed a resolution in support of a new system for student release questions.

Currently, professors have to opt in if they want student release questions to be made public.

The resolution supports a system where students’ answers are automatically released, and professors have to opt out if they want the answers private.

MSA’s University Policies and Student Concerns  Committee director Marissa Kramer said few professors know how to release students’ answers, and about 10 percent of them currently choose to opt in.

The University is a public institution, MSA stated in the resolution, so MSA hopes to increase transparency and better prepare students when registering for classes.

Before passing the resolution, MSA found support from Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Education Bob McMaster. 

Kramer said her committee plans to meet with McMaster this month to begin discussing implementation of the system.

“We will see movement on this [after passing the resolution],” Kramer said.