Wednesday, April 27, 2005


My cool chalking on Monday night before the evil rain came and ruined it. Posted by Hello

Today the NO on the New U Rally is being held at 1:50 pm in front of the Library. I encourage everyone who is reading this now who goes to WSU to attend and show the administration, MnSCU, as well as the rest of the great state of Minnesota that our voice will not be muffled.

Why should I care about the New U aka "The Winona Experience"?

Right now as it is proposed, the New University plan will increase your tuition $1000 over the next 4 years starting next year. But what specifically is being funded from the possible tuition increase? As of right now, there are no specific documents produced by the New University Committee that show money from the New U fee being allocated towards specific programs, in other words no line item budget has been made or drafted. In high school, when my district proposed a levy, one of the first things that was drafted was a specific budget showing where the money from the levy would be going to, this is not the case for the New U plan. From my own personal experiences in the past year here at WSU, for each student who learns about the New U plan for the first time, a number of questions or concerns expressed by that student can not be answered. A number of the ideas or programs proposed under the New University plan are not even completely worked out and still considered under "development stages." Our administration wants to raise our tuition for programs that are just mere ideas from brain storms instead of concrete plans or proposals. Some of the New U initiatives are just frivolous and will do nothing to improve students. For example, for a New U proposal regarding the building of an Experiential Learning Institute, a paragraph is dedicated to proposing a kitchen to be used by faculty in this building.

“To support the community building aspect of the ELI, the workgroup believes it is important that the facility be equipped with kitchen facilities that will enable users to make coffee, to prepare and serve snacks or even lunch, or to host pot-luck meals. Food provides a great way for people to come together and talk informally about their work. Our study of best practices indicates that the most successful learning communities met around meals and the most informal idea generation takes place over a shared cup of coffee. We believe that in the new ELI, the coffee must always be fresh, strong and available (for a nominal fee), and that users should feel free to bring their lunch and browse the library. This means more than a vending machine, but less than a cafeteria. In this regard, kitchen space in the existing Alumni House serves as an ideal model. [The work group recognizes that this aspect of the ELI function may require negotiations with the current food-service contractor, Chartwells.]” Page 8, New University Proposal ELI Plan

They want to raise your tuition and then use some of the funding to help build a kitchen! I know my biggest concerns in improving WSU isn't lower tuition or smaller class sizes, its making sure there's plenty of kitchens around campus where people can pay a nominal fee for coffee, that right there is what higher education is all about.

In the past year the Student Senate has held two student referendums, both of them voted overwhelmingly against the New University plan. One of the referendums even produced a record in voter turn out. One would think that when students oppose the New U plan 5 to 1 that the administration would realize a huge concern and help address the problem, but instead WSU University President Darrell Krueger said that “Ignorance was allowed to vote (in the student referendum)." Source: Winonan 3/23/05 Students voiced their opposition against something they feel is not right, and they are called ignorant.

Today's rally is a good opportunity to tell the administration, MnSCU and the rest of the state that enough is enough and we do not want to pay $1000 for something that is vague and will have no benefit to all students at Winona State. Hope to see you there!


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