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Two referendums on the UMN campus election ballot pass

The Fight for $15 and CPAC referendums have passed in UMN campus elections.
Image by Sarah Mai

The University of Minnesota held campus elections from March 21-25, and passed two referendums: Fight for $15 and Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC).

There was a 90% margin of student vote to pass Fight for $15 and a 82% margin of student vote to pass CPAC, according to the Minnesota Student Association (MSA) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

In an email to the Minnesota Daily, the University’s public relations stated that the University is “grateful for everyone who participated in the elections and will be considering the content of referendums supported by a majority of student voters as we plan for the future.”

Fight for $15
Second-year student and co-chair of the Student Wages Committee in MSA, Carter Yost, said how excited he was to see that the Fight for $15 referendum passed but that the fight to raise student wages is far from over.

“I’ll feel better once the students who work here on campus are able to afford their rent and groceries,” Yost said. “I’m feeling optimistic, and I’ll feel a whole lot better as soon as we reach an agreement with University officials to raise the minimum wage on campus.”

Yost added that seeing the amount of support the referendum received is “incredibly energizing” and “remarkable,” with thousands of students voting yes to increase the minimum wage for student workers.

Yost said the goal of the referendum, and what is expected of the administration to carry out, is to raise the minimum wage to be at least $15/hour for all University student worker positions.

“Students didn’t vote for a $1 or $2 increase: we voted to set the bar at $15 an hour at the minimum and that’s what I’m committed to fighting for,” Yost said.


Third-year student and SDS active member, Bella Harbison, talked about the efforts to get CPAC onto the campus elections as a referendum and how it paid off.

“A lot of it came down to the petitioning and the promoting it on social media,” Harbison said. “I feel excited for the future since we have been petitioning for CPAC for a long time now.”

Harbison added that around 3,200 students said yes to CPAC, demonstrating that this is something students want to see on campus.

“It gets us more easily recognized, especially by the admin,” Harbison said.

According to Harbison, SDS’s next steps include amplifying CPAC’s message to the University administration.

“I would like accountability for the harm that UMPD has done,” Harbison said. “People have been saying they want [CPAC] for a long time and we want to have some sort of actual conversation with admin.”

Correction: A previous version misstated the status of the referendums, which were passed in University campus elections. The University has not implemented the referendums. Additionally, a quote has been updated. 

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