Tag Archives: MnSCU

Consensual Health

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As Bemidji State University pushes to revise the Minnesota State’s 37 college and universities’ definition of sexual assault, the focus on ending campus assault has also reached nationwide. Following up on my last post regarding #metoo, some of these issues are highly  contentious and arguably have a gray area for some. Still, the work being done by researchers and students alike to make our campuses safer cannot be ignored.

As a student at a non-traditional institution, I haven’t had to deal with out of control frat parties or dorm room assault at Metropolitan State. But having visited friends at traditional campuses, I have seen this firsthand. Drinks getting drugged. Women realizing the next day that they blacked out and have no idea if they’d been taken advantage of. Guys not thinking that they should think twice about bringing that incoherent girl upstairs. And simply being a woman facing harassment or bias just for being who I am, I can tell you that this is a problem wherever you are. Being a commuter college doesn’t mean that harassment and assault don’t happen. It just happens in a different way.

While Minnesota State tightens up the gray area of “affirmative consent,” two Columbia professors are shifting to a broader view of changing the culture. Jennifer Hirsch and Claude Ann Mellins, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health are looking for new solutions where other programs have failed. Instead of just focusing on individuals, S.H.I.F.T., or Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation provides a broader examination of sexual assault. As Hirsch puts it, quite bluntly, “We have to stop working one penis at a time!” The program seeks to portray sexual assault prevention as part of sexual health, instead of a topic that most people would like to avoid.

So, tighten up the gray area or broaden the view? I tend to give preference to broader solutions, since tightening up the rules seems to make otherwise unaffected people consider it a taboo issue. At the same time, I do believe that individuals must be accountable for their actions, and for that I applaud the Student’s United group of Minnesota State for giving a clearer definition of “consent.” Sexual assault on campuses is nothing new, but perhaps a new approach is exactly what we need.

Taking Charge of YOUR Education!

As Students of Metropolitan State University, we share a common interest in our educational goals. MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges & Universities) is the State organization which assesses and allocates funds to each Minnesota college and university. They also oversee the policy and operations of the public four-year and two-year higher education institutions in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 7.46.53 AMThe good news is that as students we have advocates working on our behalf to encourage policy makers – at both the state and federal level – to improve legislation and funds allocations to benefit students and lower the costs of attendance and associated living expenses. This advocacy influences the operations of MnSCU; therefore, each individual institution of higher learning; and subsequently you!

Students attending one of the twenty-four public two-year colleges in Minnesota are represented by MSCSA – the Minnesota State College Student Association.

At the four-year public Universities in Minnesota, students are represented by MSUSA – the Minnesota State University Student Association.

Both of these groups are non-profits who by law are entitled to collect a fee from all students to fund their advocacy work. MSCSA collects $0.35 per credit hour. MSUSA collects $0.43 per credit hour.

These fees are automatically calculated into our costs of attendance paid to the school. Therefore, it is critical that we utilize the resources that we are paying for.

Now, I know as students we typically hate paying for anything additional that we can imagine doing without. These fees are worth every penny! They are directly related to the tuition freeze that we currently have in Minnesota. As an alumnus of MSCSA, I can speak to the hard work and dedicated effort with which numerous students volunteer and the time and dedication the staff apply to train students in leadership and advocacy. I worked first hand as the elected platform representative of the seven colleges in North Western Minnesota to develop a platform for the association which represented the views and needs of that demographic.

Only you can ensure that you are represented well.

Each college and university sends delegates from each institution through their student government organization, to represent their school. Here at Metro State, we are represented by a diverse group of students who should be working to represent you. You have the right to attend the public meetings and speak to your student representatives about the issues that are important to you and your experience as a student at Metro.

I encourage you to do so!

Here is how:
You can contact Metro State’s Student Senate Here.
You can also find out when to attend Student Senate meetings Here.

 

What do you think?
Tell me in the comment section below.