MN state administrators reject increase in student association fees for two-year colleges – Twin Cities
The Minnesota state board has rejected a proposal by a student association to increase fees to better serve the two-year students it represents.
LeadMN, which charges students 35 cents per credit – $ 10.50 per year for full-time students – has sought to increase the fee to 61 cents, or $ 18.30.
The association had a plan to double its staff by hiring organizers to reestablish student senates on individual campuses, adding fundraising and career planning services, and hiring multiple Benefit Navigators to help out. students meet their basic needs, from food and housing to health and child care.
Two-thirds of campus representatives approved the plan at LeadMN’s delegate assembly, but administrators have heard complaints about the association’s process and fear they may duplicate services already offered by colleges and the universities.
“I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but it’s not the right way to do it,” administrator Cheryl Tefer said Wednesday.
Following the first reading of the proposal at last month’s board meeting, the Minnesota state system office sought input from campus student governments. The responses they got were about 3 to 1 against the fee increase. College presidents also opposed the plan.
The council’s finance committee, which controls tuition fees, rejected the proposal Wednesday by 5-2.
George Soule, who voted in favor of the fee hike, said parts of the plan were “obvious”. His only concern was that LeadMN’s benefit browsers hinder or interfere with the work of professional staff on campuses, but he said he hadn’t heard much evidence that would be the case.
Chancellor Devinder Malhotra said that while he disagreed with the “approach and tactics” proposed by LeadMN, he recognizes that colleges and universities “need to do more” to support students.
“For me, this is not the end of the conversation,” he said, pledging to “speed up the work” in student services.