SGA Holds Bi-Monthly Meeting Discussing State Bills and Resolution Could Affect Students
On March 4, Minot State University Student Government Association (SGA) held its bi-monthly meeting to discuss issues concerning the school and the students. There were many of resolutions discussed — some in regards to finances, while others had to do with the individual student freedoms in regards to the first and second amendments in the United States constitution.
The first issue discussed was House Bill 1536, which was to set the authority of the tuition and the fees to the state legislators.
“We thought that it was not a good idea. A couple of the legislators are against this bill and the house was against this bill because the state body or the institution themselves should have the right to set the tuition and the fees because they need to keep back these student fees for themselves accommodate for other reasons,” Cambree Smith, an off-campus senator, said.
Another bill was the senior year tuition waiver, which would allow schools to waive the tuition for seniors.
“This bill has failed for now, but there are different versions of it that are going around. One such as not giving seniors a waiver, but give them a loan payment other kind of options instead. The main goal is to increase the education of those who are going to graduate,” Bikalpa Ghimire, vice president of state affairs, said.
A bigger issue that was discussed was bill 2320, which had to do with freedom of speech on the campus.
“FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) came to the state and did a report on how well institutions are doing on freedom of speech. There was an original bill that had been written out, and it was completely amended to something the opposite. There were limitations on the freedom of speech for professors in the classroom, which was controversial, but that got banned and the wording was changed so now giving every university school in the system the right to come with freedom of speech guidelines,” Smith said.
According to both Ghimire and Smith, the original bill would have put a lot of limitations on the freedom of speech on campus, and by all the limitation, they found it was better to oppose the bill.
Another issue that was brought up was House Bill 2006, which has to do with conceal carried on campus.
“We did not pay much attention to this bill at first because we did not think that it had to do with the school, but now they are looking to amend a bill that would allow conceal carry on campus, which would include classrooms, cafeteria, residence halls, pretty much all over campus,” Smith said.
According to Ghimire, there are three kinds of policies in America in regards to guns on campus: those who say schools can have guns, school cannot have guns, and it is up to the institution to decide. Katlin Walker also added that Minot State’s current policy allows firearms in the trunk of a vehicle, but students are not allowed to carry them around campus.
Argument in support of the resolution state that students in apartments are allowed to have firearms in order to protect themselves from invaders; therefore, students on campus should be allowed to have guns in their dorms because they are potentially protecting themselves from intruders. The RHA representatives took stand against the bill stating that knives were not allowed in dorms, so firearms should not be allowed in dorms as well because they can be safety hazards. SGA also took time to present and approve their SGA spring budget as well as the club and student organization budgets.
SGA elections are March 25 and 26. The next SGA meeting is March 25.