Peder Aalgaard | Staff Writer | 01/26/2011
President Dr. Richard Hanson met with the BSU Student Association last week to begin discussing the upcoming budget changes, keeping with his promise to increase communication with the voice of the students.
One idea that the Hanson presented for increasing the University’s budget was to hold the first ever National Comprehensive Campaign for Bemidji State. The planning for the campaign will begin today.
Hanson is also looking for a date to reveal his recalibration plan to the public. It is his goal that recalibration can be looked at as a positive thing. This is difficult, he admitted, since the $5 million budget deficit will mean job losses for close to 50 current positions.
In addition, Hanson presented a goal to strengthen some of the majors that are currently showing the highest employment rates. These include programs in business and in mass communications.
“These programs are exciting and active and marketable in the work place,” Hanson said. “Recalibration needs to do that: cut things off and rearrange.”
After the president spoke, the BSUSA received a report from Andrew Spaeth, a member of Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA) and BSU alumn. Spaeth spoke about upcoming events within the MSUSA that could help the student association, as well as other students attending Minnesota universities.
One such thing brought up was the Penny Program, a federal fellowship where students can receive funding to internship in Washington D.C., Minnesota state capitol, and other public service venues. This semester, the application due date for the program is on March 15.
Spaeth also encouraged students to participate in Rally Day, a march on Minnesota senators in the Twin Cities on February 16. Rally Day will be an opportunity for people to lobby to legislative about why they should support BSU and to show them that there are students who care about their schools. The BSUSA is still short on the required minimum of 50 people signed up for the trip.
In addition, Spaeth noted that while classes offered online are often viewed as cheaper, in actuality the courses themselves are more expensive than traditional classes. One reason for such a high cost is that development requires a higher tuition from students to afford updating the technology and forming the infrastructure, explained Spaeth.
The more online classes that are offered, the more the technology is required to advance, requiring students to pay more. It is the hope of MSUSA that they can move the classes away from being market driven to the umbrella of the regular process.
The reason for using market driven tuition is typically when one company approaches a school, such as NTC, to train a certain amount of employees. The cost of training would be negotiable between the company and the school allowing them to set the rate.
Currently, the board of trustees does not approve online tuition rates at individual institutions. This gives every institution the freedom to make the decision of what they want to charge.
The last piece of business discussed was the location for the commencement ceremony in May. The BSUSA has passed a motion to move the ceremony from the John Glas Fieldhouse to the Sanford Center. There were a few factors for making the final decision, such as better parking, better air conditioning for comfort during the summer and accessibility for attendants who may find difficulty with the stairs within the Fieldhouse.
The next BSUSA meeting will be held today, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Crying Wolf room. All students are welcome.