Student and state government converge.

“Support the U Day” and voting assistance help keep students involved.

The Minnesota Student Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee monitors situations at the local, state and federal level that impact the University. When an issue arises (such as the possibility of higher tuition), the Legislative Affairs Committee meets to discuss possible actions that help to ensure students are represented in the decision-making process. Legislative Affairs also works with other organizations toward the common goal of increased student participation in the political process.

This past fall MSA and Legislative Affairs organized a massive student “get out the vote” campaign. We mailed information to students living in residence halls and on-campus apartments. We mobilized people on Election Day to knock on doors to inform students about the election and where they could vote. By educating students before Election Day (with an educational, nonpartisan voter guide) and going door to door on Election Day, students were able to make an educated vote.

This spring, the Minnesota Student Association and Legislative Affairs will be sponsoring “Support the U Day.” Support the U Day is formally known as Lobby Day. On March 28, hundreds of University students from the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston and Morris campuses will converge in St. Paul at the Capitol. Students can attend a rally that sends a message to lawmakers that actual students are behind the decisions they are making.

Also, students are encouraged to meet with the representatives from their home district. If students are not from Minnesota, students can meet with legislators who represent the University community. This is a great opportunity to learn about the legislative process and learn more about what the University is asking the Legislature this year. This is also a great opportunity to tell representatives why you chose to attend the University. Perhaps you came here because you found an outstanding educational program; maybe you came here because your parents did; or, maybe you came here because of the low tuition. I invite you to attend Support the U Day on March 28, and let legislators know why you came to the University.

Legislative Affairs works to make sure students’ voices and opinions are heard whenever various levels of government are considering action that impacts the University.

Mark Lewandowski is the MSA Legislative Affairs chairman. Please send comments to [email protected]