Recap of our Fall Conference
written by | State Chair Kayla Shelley
Our first Delegates Assembly of the year has concluded! We spend our fall assembly in Moorhead (shoutout to MSUM for being amazing hosts) and had a busy weekend passing our State and Federal legislative agenda, brainstorming ideas for student advocacy, electing a new Treasurer, writing motions, and looking ahead at accomplishing our objectives for the year!
This was my 6th delegates as a student, and first as State Chair, and once again I am absolutely blown away by the excitement and drive of our students to make change. On Saturday, I got to sit in and listen to the brainstorming session on what students want to learn and prioritize in their advocacy work. I was blown away by the ideas and responses that were given, covering everything from how to support our international student community to getting the tools and information to run for public office. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it really set the tone of the importance of our work, the community we were trying to build, and what we want to say we accomplished in our tenure with Students United.
Students stepped forward and set the agenda to advocate the Federal level to support fully funding the Pell Grant and expanding eligibility, the support of a DACA policy which allows all students to have an equitable college experience, opposing the Title IX changes put forward by the Department of Education, and supporting any effort to make textbooks more affordable. On the State Legislative Agenda we will be asking for the support of Minnesota State’s 2019 Legislative Biennial Budget Request, increasing State Grant funding for state University students, and of course advocating to see the 67% funding for the cost of public postsecondary education.
With all the huge practical success as an organization, my favorite part of delegates has not changed, and that's just getting to meet students from across the state and see the awesome exchange of stories and ideas that reminds me what a force to be reckoned with Minnesota’s students are. Also our Board of Directors, you are amazing! Sundays board meeting was filled with decisions, conversation, and updates of all the important work that's taking place at the individual campus level. We got to be joined by our newest teammate and freshly elected Treasurer, David Shittu from SMSU, and he hit the ground running partaking in discussion and helping our technology struggles (is it even a meeting without them?).
I want to give a special thanks to Brent Glass and the Minnesota State System representatives that took time to drive all the way to Moorhead to ask our students for feedback on NextGen, we loved having you. Biggest shoutout goes to Madeline Carlson, our board member from MSUM, for coordinating everything for this weekend and being a great host/tour guide!
Thanks to all of our students who were able to attend, and all our Senates and Universities for getting them here. I had an incredible weekend, and can’t wait to do the work with all of you on what we passed, see you at our advocacy conference and spring delegates!