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Student Association Responds to Recalibration

Sara Lee | Staff Writer | 03/23/2011

The BSU Student Association revealed their official response to the administration’s proposed budget cuts on March 2 as a memorandum to the entire student body.

The six-and-a-half page response addressed the main issues of recalibration and made suggestions to administration about particular cuts. The senate made suggestions such as “combining departments to address future budget concerns and to also keep as much variety as possible” (Cuts to Colleges, sec. B); creating a theater committee with the student body and the community to “maintain a theatre presence on campus” (Elimination of the Theater Program, sec. C); merging Theater and Art History into Visual Arts; teach-out programs for grad students (Teach-Out and Transfer, sec. B); and creating a University Senate composed of “student representatives, Administration, and other bargaining groups on campus” (Communication, sec. C).
The issue of men’s track and field was discussed in detail, the senate noting that they do not believe that the cut was budget-related, since school funding for the team will be spent elsewhere (Elimination of men’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, sec. A). The senate also believes the money raised by the team that was used to pay wages of a coach to recruit women would hinder BSU’s opportunities for women (sec. B).
Furthermore, the response stated that the Student Association disagreed with the Administration’s actions regarding Title IX.
“Student Senate does not feel that the elimination of the men’s Track & Field team maintains the university’s commitment to Title IX  requirements,” (sec. D). Senate suggested the Administration look into other ways of complying with Title IX in sections D through G.
Mandatory Health Insurance for students was briefly mentioned in the response. Although the topic hasn’t been brought up in any student forums, it is part of the recalibration process. The Student Association supports the idea and believes BSU “should work to establish a ‘soft waiver’ system…[such as] Minnesota State University of Moorhead’s program,” (Mandatory Health Insurance, sec. A).
How seriously the senate’s response will be taken by Administration is unknown. Many students seem to doubt the effect the Student Association’s response on Administrative decisions.
“I don’t really know how much power they really have, but I don’t think they’ll be able to do much. All the decisions made are made by the president and higher administration,” said a BSU sophomore who wished to remain unnamed.
Another anonymous student agreed, saying, “They [the administrators] are going to do what they think is best. They’re too handcuffed in the problem [recalibration process], and they’ve kind of already made their decisions.”
Whether or not the senate’s response makes a significant difference in the administration’s decisions is yet to be announced. Dr. Lisa Erwin stated in an email that “We [the administration] will attend the March 23 Student Association meeting to share our written response, and also to provide an opportunity for discussion.”
Until the Student Association knows the administration’s response,  the administration’s reaction to the memorandum will not be disclosed.