MSA rallies toward more support for smaller departments

by Rebecca Czaplewski

Supporting smaller departments such as Chinese or classics was the focus of the Minnesota Student Association’s legislative affairs committee meeting Tuesday.
The committee hopes to plan a meeting with University President Mark Yudof and rally with the president’s office to support smaller departments at the University, which committee members say are an important part of the undergraduate experience.
Sam Tuttle, legislative affairs chairwoman, said a meeting between students and Yudof would spotlight the importance of smaller departments for all University students.
“We hope to collectively get students together,” Tuttle said. “Someone could be a science major, but they could describe why smaller areas, such as Chinese studies, are important to them.”
The committee also approved two resolutions to be presented at the MSA Forum Tuesday.
The first approved resolution was the introduction of a “Random Acts of Kindness Week” for the University to be held during the first week of spring quarter.
Although there are no concrete plans set for the week yet, the committee hopes to give out free prizes during the week, including passes to aerobics classes at the University Recreation Center and massages at Boynton Health Service. Hillary Walters, co-author of the resolution, looks forward to MSA’s chance to promote community and spirit on campus.
“It’s a good thing to promote positive things,” Walters said. “I’m excited to be working on this.”
The second resolution approved by the committee stated that MSA’s future fees proposals will be passed through both the MSA Forum and management team before being presented to the Student Services Fees Committee. This resolution will also go before MSA Forum Tuesday.
The committee debated the prospect of having a designated person who would receive a stipend and work with the technological aspects of MSA. This would include the MSA World Wide Web page and mailing list.
Ben Bowman, MSA speaker, elaborated on the influence the position could have for MSA’s access to the student body.
“Even if we don’t have the chance to shake 30,000 students’ hands, that’s kind of a route in which MSA could have a positive influence,” Bowman said.