Student Senate gives funding


Morgan Reddekopp

Geoffrey Curry of Pi Sigma Epsilon stands before Student Senate to ask for funds, the fraternity will be attending a business convention in Florida later this year.

Marshal Will, News Reporter

Student Senate brought new changes for student organizations and itself.

They have approved funding for a variety of organizations and upcoming events including protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and helping sponsor the upcoming Midwest Music Fest.

With recent political uncertainty about the state of DACA recipients, Winona State University had moved to implement polices intended to protect these students.

Student Senate said it agrees with the university and will continue public advocacy for students who are DACA recipients.

When addressing DACA, Student Senate voted to encourage the university to have resources and make them known on the website.

Student Senate had significant debate on the merits of providing funds for two student organizations.

One being Pi Sigma Epsilon, a nationwide fraternity, that requested funding for their competition. The other being Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which had asked for funding to cover mainly the flying and living expenses of their trip to New York City.

PRSSA’s trip is intended to visit firms that could employ Winona State students in the public relations field.

Brianna Murphy, president of PRSSA, addressed the benefits of attending this event.

“Going to these will help strengthen connections with alumni in New York. From past experiences when students go on these trips they become more passionate about this,” Murphy said. “New York is the P.R. [Public Relations] capital of the world. It’s really a great educational experience for our field because our field is adapting so fast that visiting and getting into these agencies gives us that advantage.”

Former president of Pi Sigma Epsilon, Geoffrey Curry, talked about the role of his organization in helping the community and why it’s Greek organization is well recognized.

“What we do like any other Greek organization, we fund raise and do community service. We are now in the top 15 chapter in the nation out of 60.”

Curry requested funding, which was approved, to help cover the registration expenses for attending the convention.

The competition, which is expected to be hosted Jacksonville, Florida, is set to include several keynote speakers and a host a networking event for members of Pi Sigma. Curry emphasized how it would potentially benefit Winona State students.

“It benefits the students and the university, it helps represent Winona for the awards and if we are to bring home some of those awards it can bring a sense of pride for Winona State.”

Student Senator Judd O’Connor, school of business representative, commented on Pi Sigma’s national conference.

“I think their national conference is a very beneficial event for Winona State,” O’Connor said.

As a member of the American Marketing Association I have been to different conferences with different keynote speakers. This type of opportunity may provide them connections with companies in the field.”

Student Senate heavily debated if the PRSSA had merits with their funds. Main arguments against providing funding for them including questioning the merits of using senate funding for the group. There was also question if some of the costs they listed as a requirement such as having a $600 a night hotel and the expense of the flight for PRSSA.

Despite some of these questions, funding was approved for these organizations based on the principle that it would primarily benefit Winona State students.

Student Senate voted to sponsor the upcoming Midwest Music Fest. The event will host a variety of music artists and will hosted in Winona May 3.

Senate President, Christina Melecio, explained why it was important for Student Senate to sponsor the music festival.

“Music Fest provides a way for students to come together with the community and celebrate the talents of local artists, whereas Student Senate wants to provide an affordable option for Winona State students to attend the Music Fest and support their local artists,” Melecio said.

Funding of $500 was put forward and approved, which is intended to help alleviate costs for Winona State students attending the event.

Student Senate expressed it was difficult to describe what their role is to the Winona State community. Because of this they had approved a new mission statement intended to better communicate what their purpose.

The new mission statement is all about helping improve the lives of Winona State students.

“Student Senate aims to improve the lives of students and represent their needs by advocating for inclusion and diversity, advancing academic and university policies, enhancing the services provided to students, and ensuring students are granted ample opportunities to achieve success at Winona State.”

Student Senate’s new motto furthers this idea.

“Among you, for you.”