Kaitlyn Walek


MSA pushing for new teacher evaluations

The Minnesota Student Association passed a position statement last week that could lead to changes in teacher evaluation forms at the University of Minnesota. The proposed changes would revise two questions on the form and change University policy to make more information from the evaluations available to students to better inform their registration choices. The University’s Faculty Senate heard a similar resolution in December and will vote this spring to officially approve evaluation form changes.

MSA, students push to change bus routes

The Minnesota Student Association Facilities, Housing and Transit Committee passed a resolution Tuesday urging the University of Minnesota to revise its campus bus routes. MSA surveyed about 50 University students at a recent forum regarding bus route changes that were made in December. The survey found that students feel bus routes aren’t as efficient as they could be. Student government leaders now plan to work with the University’s Parking and Transportation Services to make changes.

Students get a voice in St. Paul

A neighborhood bordering the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is adding student voices to its community council. The St. Anthony Park Community Council voted Thursday to add two student positions to its board, a move that has some University leaders praising the organization for involving students.  Once chosen, the students will serve one-year terms. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and live or attend school in St. Anthony Park. Amy Sparks, the council’s executive director, said the positions will be promoted mainly through social media.

Vikings money could upgrade U-area lights

In attempts to increase public safety around campus, the University of Minnesota’s Student and Community Relations is asking for nearly $8,500 from the Good Neighbor Fund to buy and install porch lights for certain campus-area properties. The SCR is partnering with student government groups, Minneapolis police, greek organizations and the University District Alliance to request funding for 100 solar-powered porch lights. It’s still unclear exactly where the lights will go if the request, called Project Lighthouse, is funded.

Students build online textbook exchange

University of Minnesota students now have another option for buying and selling used textbooks: U-Swap.org — a website launched by three college students, two from the University. The website competes with more traditional ways of reselling textbooks, but other bookstores said they’re not concerned. “At this point, it’s a pretty small player,” said Troy Gerkey, owner of the Go4Books store in Stadium Village. He said websites like Amazon.com operate on a larger scale and haven’t hurt his business.

MSA: Students need more time to add, drop classes

The Minnesota Student Association voted Tuesday to ask University of Minnesota administrators to extend the deadline to add or drop classes this semester. The undergraduate student government passed a position statement asking the University to give students an extra week to add or drop classes because a holiday and school cancellations have cut down on class time in the first two weeks. “If you have a Monday class, you have yet to go to class,” said Joelle Stangler, MSA’s ranking representative to the Board of Regents.

MSA to kick off spring semester

The Minnesota Student Association will hold its first forum of spring semester Tuesday night. At the meeting, MSA will hold elections for multiple positions and give updates on its lobbying initiatives. It will also vote on three position statements, including one that supports fossil fuel divestment at the University of Minnesota. Another position statement, if passed, would support state and federal legislation requiring smartphone manufacturers to install a “kill switch” on their products to disable the phone if it gets stolen.

Big Ten leaders convene on campus

When Minnesota Student Association President Mike Schmit addressed a crowd of Big Ten student leaders Friday night, he included some friendly rivalry. “Congratulations to Ohio State on losing to the Gophers,” he said, referencing Thursday’s men’s basketball game. The crowd laughed, but the students quickly put jokes and rivalries aside for the Association of Big Ten Students’ Winter Conference at the University of Minnesota this weekend.

Bus changes worry students

On Monday, the University of Minnesota Campus Connector bus route will change, reverting to Washington Avenue and bringing back the Washington Avenue Bridge Circulator. Washington Avenue has been closed since construction on the Central Corridor light rail began nearly three years ago. Next week, city and campus buses will resume old routes, sparking some frustration among students. The routes seem new for students who didn’t attend the University before Washington Avenue was a “construction site,” said University spokesman Tim Busse.

Frey and Palmisano join City Council

JACOB FREY Attorney Jacob Frey defeated two-term incumbent Diane Hofstede to represent Ward 3, an area that covers parts of the University of Minnesota and its surrounding neighborhoods. Originally from northern Virginia, Frey moved to Minneapolis in 2009 after graduating from the Villanova University School of Law. Frey raised more than $100,000 during his campaign, also defeating Green Party candidate Kristina Gronquist and Libertarian candidate Michael Katch. Why did you decide to run for the position?