MSA encourages green initiatives

MSA passed two environment resolves and voted down a bylaw.

Luke Feuerherm

The Minnesota Student Association passed two resolutions Tuesday evening, both of which put student support behind initiatives to reduce classroom waste at the University of Minnesota. Together, the resolutions will encourage faculty and administration to allow students to bring electronic devices to class instead of printing readings over 10 pages long, to turn in assignments online and to institute a universal clicker, a small remote used most commonly used in large classes to keep track of attendance and promote participation. âÄú[ItâÄôs] not so much a âÄòsave the treesâÄô effort but more of a cost saving and waste reduction initiative,âÄù said MSA member and resolution co-author Benjamin Chen. âÄúSome professors are reluctant to let students use their electronic devices, such as laptops, and I think itâÄôs wasteful when these professors require you to print 15 to 20 pages for a class reading.âÄù Chen said after presenting his resolution, which includes encouraging faculty to allow electronic devices in the classroom and online assignment submissions, his next step will be talking to student groups and starting a student-faculty petition to present to the administration. The second resolution focused specifically on clickers. âÄúThere are, like, three different clickers available at the bookstore and different professors require different ones,âÄù Kris Schwebler resolution co-author said. âÄúSo mainly the point of this resolution is just to institute a policy where the University supports only one clicker brand so we would only have to buy one.âÄù Quarum qualms In addition to the two passed resolutions, MSA also voted down a bylaw change that would have more strictly enforced attendance at both forum and committee meetings. The bylaw change was presented three weeks after MSA forum did not have quorum and was unable to finish discussion on a resolution supporting the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act. During a debate that lasted nearly an hour, some members expressed support for the right to leave forum in protest. The bylaw change was voted down by a vote of 33 to 17.