Contributing article by JT Scott
Enrollment has trended down reflecting demographic changes throughout the Upper Midwest resulting in a $9.5 million general fund budget for the current fiscal year, which will require a multi-year solution.
These numbers were taken from St. Cloud State Universities FY2016-FY2017 Legislative Request. If these requests are not satisfied, SCSU could lose up to 10 percent of its workforce and student retention rates will suffer.
Beginning on Feb. 24, SCSU’s Student Government will be represented at our state’s capitol to lobby for the funds needed in order to sustain all of the university’s programs and staff. The most prominent faces of the student government are the President and Vice President Lindsey Gunnerson and Alex Bryson.
Vice President Bryson, a mechanical engineering major, has been vice president since May of 2014 and he is graduating this spring. He began his Student Government career as the Chair of Academics Affairs committee, and was eventually persuaded by current President Gunnerson to run together to head the student government.
As the vice president, Bryson is responsible for running the senate meetings. These take place every week and many of the changes that you have seen around campus as well as a multitude of other items instrumental in the infrastructure of the school were born out of these meetings.
Recently, he aided Gunnerson in the search for the new campus Provost–the academic administrator.
One of the big projects that Bryson is currently working on is the Comprehensive Facilities Plan.
The Comprehensive Facilities Plan is Student Government’s initiative to make sure that students are getting the most out of the space here on campus.
This plan has the potential to eventually indicate new structures, as well as the demolition of others. When Bryson graduates, one of the things he would like to see happen is the return of homecoming.
“It would be great to bring that back so we can continue to build stronger relationships with our alumni,” he said.
President Gunnerson began her Student Government career as an at-large senator during her sophomore year. She was then promoted to the urban affairs chair, in which her responsibilities revolved around off-campus affairs such as housing.
From there she became vice president and about a year ago, was elected president of the Student Government. Gunnerson is also graduating in May and is applying to grad school for higher education administration. One of her big projects in momentum currently is the Way Finding Committee.
The Way Finding Committee is intended on making it easier for students and visitors to find their way around campus. This will include maps that are more visible in and outdoors. They recently consulted a company to help with the specifics of the signage and hope to have them implemented by next year.
“We want to serve the students the best we can, but also have a healthy relationship with the administration,” she said. “I would also like to see how the future administration and Student Government follows through with the current improvement plans.”