Blair Emerson


In final forum, MSA gets set for summer

In its final forum of the school year, the Minnesota Student Association unanimously passed its summer budget. It also discussed progress on its survey of University of Minnesota student renters and elected new leadership for next year. Incoming MSA President Joelle Stanger said the forum hasn’t voted on the summer budget in past years, but she wanted to change that. “Really, this is putting agency into forum’s hands to dictate where the funds over the summer go,” she said.

Groups make final fees pleas

In the eleventh hour, two University of Minnesota student groups are expressing concerns over student services fees allocations. After a months-long fees allocation process, the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly brought concerns of plagiarism and financial mismanagement, respectively, to Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Danita Brown Young on Monday.

Student leaders push for state loan reform

As Congress works to renew the Higher Education Act this year, student leaders in Minnesota are pushing legislators to make state student loans more accessible. The Minnesota Student Association, the Minnesota State University Student Association and national higher education advocates say the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 restricted how colleges inform students about non-federal loans, driving many students to options more costly than loans provided by the state.

Students could see more in-state grants

Nearly one-third of University of Minnesota undergraduates could get more state money to help pay their college expenses next year. The Minnesota State Grant program will have a $17.6 million surplus that could award students receiving the aid with extra money. About 30 percent of University undergraduates receive the state grant. On average, their aid will increase by about $279 for the 2014-15 academic year, said Ginny Dodds, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education’s financial aid programs manager. 

Light rail will run 24/7

When the Central Corridor light-rail line opens June 14, trains will run 24/7. The line was originally set to operate seven days a week until only 1 a.m., but last week Metro Transit announced in a letter that trains will run continuously. Three Minneapolis City Council members, two of whom represent University of Minnesota-area neighborhoods, authored a letter to Metro Transit last month asking officials to extend the Green Line’s hours until at least 3 a.m. each day.

Kill switch garners industry support

Beginning next summer, most new smartphones will be equipped with a theft deterrent. The leading trade group for cellphone manufacturers announced Tuesday that companies will equip smartphones made after July 2015 with a “kill switch” that would clear the phone’s memory and render it useless, following legislative pushes from around the country. Minnesota Student Association President Mike Schmit recently testified at the Capitol in support of a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would require kill switches.

CBS starts search for new dean

The University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences announced Wednesday that Thomas Hays will serve as interim dean beginning July 1, according to an email sent to CBS students, faculty and staff. A search committee composed mainly of University deans, faculty members and students will conduct a nationwide search for current CBS Dean Robert Elde’s permanent replacement. Appointment of a new dean is expected by July 2015.

Student services fees appeals released

The Student Services Fees Appeals Committee released its recommendations Sunday, granting two of seven appeals that student groups and administrative units requested for their funding next year. The committee gave Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow about $82,500 for next academic year, more than four times what it was allocated in the SSFC’s final recommendations, citing “misconduct” and “misapplication of a rule” as reasons for the committee’s initial decision.

Grad students question Senate election process

After a recent change to the Student Senate’s bylaws  that guaranteed seats to graduate and professional students, some scrambled to run as write-in candidates before last week’s election. But because the bylaw amendment took effect so late in the process, some graduate student leaders are now taking issue with how the election was handled.

Election results corrected

The All-Campus Elections Commission revised its official results for the next president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly on Monday, a day after releasing incorrect figures.