Paul Strain will empower students

Under Strain, MSA has launched and developed key student programs.

Drake Nimz

Paul StrainâÄôs MSA administration has led to new energy and stronger programming for University of Minnesota undergraduate students, from the Volunteer Tax Program, the Legislative Certificate Program, CourseRank and Complain Like Crazy. It has also laid the foundation for escalated communication and student representation to the University administration and to the state government through a policy called âÄúshared governance.âÄù Shared governance, a standard the University of Wisconsin has enjoyed since the âÄô70s, makes students a part in the decisions administrators make which affect them âÄî a role students here currently lack. The purpose of MSA is to advocate for students to the administration and state legislators and to advocate for the student body and provide vital programs that make studentsâÄô lives better and easier. I have been asked many times, while wearing my MSA T-shirt or while IâÄôm ranting about an issue brought up at forum, âÄúWhat is MSA?âÄù Students ask this question because MSA lacks legitimacy and power. Under MSA President Strain, students have sat across from University President Bob Bruininks and said, âÄúStudents canâÄôt afford constant and inordinate tuition increases,âÄù and have testified before the Senate Higher Education Committee reasoning âÄúthe U of M cannot provide the excellent education it currently provides if weâÄôre cut to 2006 funding levels.âÄù The current ideas and programs taking off under Strain must be fought for next year by the current administration because they are most knowledgeable about them. Students donâÄôt believe they have any power to make their tuition lower, to add bike lanes to Church Street, or to receive funding for a new physics building, but the fact is that shared governance, the Legislative Certificate Program and other programs and policies that have begun or flourished under the Strain administration will empower students to change their University experience. Drake Nimz, MSA academics and services committee chairman