Committee Highlight | Highlights from the SMSU Committee's Year
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With the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, we, the SMSU campus committee members, wanted to take a walk down memory lane and list what we believe are 10 highlights from a very exciting and rewarding year.
During the SMSU Senate Townhall event, our Legislative Specialist Sandra Shimba spoke about the issue campaigns and work that was achieved by Students United this year, as well as the work and impact of our SMSU campus committee and advocacy on behalf of our fellow SMSU and Minnesota State Students.
Textbook Affordability petition signatures
Our Campus Committee has worked this year on the issue of Textbook Affordability to take a stand against the rising costs of the textbooks for Minnesota State University students. During our broadcast event of Gov. Dayton’s State of the State Address and our issue campaign tabling session in March, we successfully collected several Petition signatures from SMSU students in support of this important campaign. A copy was then sent to and acknowledged by Minnesota State Senator, Gary Dahms, who had previously met with some members of our Committee during Advocacy Day 2018.
Art & Culture Festival
During the International Student Office’s Art & Culture Festival, our Diversity Specialist Loic Dah reached out to the various students and guests in attendance and informed them about the issue campaigns and work of Students United, such as promoting Diversity and Inclusion on MN state campuses, and the ways they could also get involved.
For National Voter Registration Day 2017, our committee members, and with the help of amazing action team members, hosted a tabling event that enabled SMSU students to register or update their voter registration, and give them the opportunity to vote in upcoming elections.
Student United 50th Anniversary Celebration
In addition to joining a beautiful Gala hosted by Students United in St Paul in honor of its 50thAnniversary, our campus committee members also hosted an Anniversary Party on the SMSU Campus and celebrated 50 years of student-led advocacy with our fellow SMSU students. We had a great time and enjoyed good food, drinks and a delicious Anniversary cake.
Sexual Assault Awareness
In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, several students had the opportunity to take the pledge against sexual violence and to wear the teal ribbon symbolizing sexual violence awareness and prevention. The banner they have signed during the tabling session was also displayed in the SMSU Student Center for the remainder of April.
Dr. Ayaz Virji
The SMSU Student United committee co-sponsored an event for Dr. Virji, a board-certified family physician practicing in Dawson, Minnesota. This event was titled “Islam in Post-Trump America, a Muslim Physician’s Experience in Rural America”, during which Dr. Virji shared his story to the members of the community in attendance. Our Campus Organizing Coordinator, Ola Abimbola, also had the opportunity to reach out to the public and talked about the impact of Students United and our work.
Textbook Affordability Video
Our Campus Committee worked in collaboration with various members of SMSU Senate to create a pertinent video highlighting the Textbook Affordability issue affecting Minnesota State Students. In the video, several SMSU students who participated held a piece a paper on which they wrote the total cost of their textbooks. This video was then showed not only at SMSU but was also introduced at the Students United February Delegates Conference where it was well received.
State Legislative Event
For our Fall State Legislative Event, former Legislative Specialist Damilola Ogundiran invited Minnesota State Representative Chris Swedzinski to be our main speaker for the event and to give the SMSU students an opportunity to meet the official who represents Southwest Minnesota in the Legislature. As the Minnesota Board of Trustees was having a meeting on the SMSU campus the same day, we were wonderfully surprised, to say the least, to not only have Students United State Chair - Faical Rayani and State Vice Chair - Lexi Byler attend the event, but also the Chair of the Board of Trustees - Michael Vekich, and Minnesota State Chancellor - Devinder Malhotra walk in and say a few words to the students. Former Minnesota State Secretary/Treasurer - Prof. David Sturrock was also in attendance.
Best Campus Committee 2017-2018
Though neither an event hosted nor sponsored by our campus committee as previously listed, this one highlights the impact that we were able to achieve at SMSU through the hard work, commitment and dedication of each one of our committee members. It is an immense honor to have been awarded as Students United Best Campus Committee, and we are not only extremely happy to have made SMSU proud, but we will always work and advocate tirelessly on behalf of the SMSU students and for all Minnesota State University students. Students! United! Students United! gooo State!