Northern State Student Association Update

     Seven NSU Student Association members travelled to Pierre on February 8 and 9 for the Students for Higher Education Days (SHED). This annual event brought together 75 student government leaders from the six public universities in South Dakota, that together form the SD Student Federation. The SDSF hosted a dinner for legislators to discuss bills affecting students at this year’s legislative session. On the 16th, the Student Federation lobbied in the capitol for bills affecting students, observed the legislative process, and had a meeting with Governor Daugaard.
     The SDSF took a stance on four bills. The three bills supported by the SDSF were HB 1147, which would increase the SD Opportunity Scholarship from $5000 to $6500; SB 91, which increases funding for the needs-based scholarship program; and SB 181, which would fund a tuition freeze for SD residents in the coming school year. The SDSF opposed HB 1206, which would allow the concealed carry of pistols on university campuses. HB 1206 was defeated by the House of Representatives, while HB 1147 was passed. Both senate bills that will increase funding have been amended down to $1, allowing the bills to move forward while the final budget numbers become clear.
     The SA has started the club renewal process for next school year, as well as preparations for the Student Budget Allocation Committee (SBAC) hearings. Club renewals and budget requests are due on Friday, February 27, with SBAC hearings to follow in the first week after spring break. Contact Gregory Fred regarding the mandatory club renewal, and Thomas Hardcastle for information on the SBAC process.
     Petitions for senate positions come out on March 3 and will be due March 24. Those running must collect 25 signatures, finished one semester at NSU, and have a minimum 2.3 GPA. Positions are open for students majoring in the College of Arts & Sciences (4 seats), School of Education (4 seats), School of Business (4 seats), School of Fine Arts (2 seats), Graduate School (1 seat), and At-Large (3 seats, any major) and Residence Life (1 seat, must live on campus). Elections for President and Vice President will be March 24-26, and senator elections, April 7-9. The new senate will take office on April 14.

Menno Schukking
SA Vice President