MSA members support new DRC location on St. Paul campus

The resolution is up for a vote during Tuesday’s forum.

Max Chao

Students living on or near the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus may no longer have to make the trek to Minneapolis if they need accommodations while taking exams.

At a forum this month, the Minnesota Student Association members announced they would pursue the creation of a new disability testing center in St. Paul. 

The existing location gives private testing areas to minimize distraction, extended time to take tests, larger-print and braille tests and computers and voice-to-text programs instead of handwriting, said Donna Johnson, director of the Disability Resource Center, in an email statement.

“It’s really quite inconvenient for students who are taking classes on St. Paul and … have to travel to the Minneapolis campus to take their tests,” said McKenzie Barth, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences student board representative to MSA. 

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke is a CFANS senior who requested the creation of a St. Paul DRC location. Since her classes are located in St. Paul, Ortmeier-Clarke said traveling to Minneapolis to take tests adds substantial travel time to her schedule.

“It’s kind of a hassle to try and take my test there because I not only have to account for extra testing time, I also have to look for what can be a half hour bus time to Minneapolis,” she said.

The move is part of a cooperative push between MSA and the CFANS student board after the board shared its primary concerns with MSA earlier this year, Barth said.  

“The Disability Resource Center is open to discussing the need for accommodated testing space on the St. Paul Campus with MSA,” Johnson said. 

Details like location, timeline and staffing have yet to be decided, but a meeting on Monday between MSA and DRC will move the idea forward, MSA representatives said. They hope to officially vote on a resolution supporting the move during Tuesday’s forum.