Katelynn Holst

Winona State University President Scott Olson discusses plans for a new field house with the student senate which the students at Winona State could partially pay for.

Madelyn Swenson, News Editor

President Scott Olson spoke about graduation and a field house at the Feb. 20 meeting of Winona State University Student Senate (WSUSS).

Olson started his presentation by talking about the new ticketing process for graduation.

Graduating seniors will be given four tickets for their ceremony. Students who need more will have opportunities to get more, Olson is not sure what these opportunities are or when they will be.

The ticketing rule comes from McCown Gym, where graduation is hosted, being about one fourth smaller than it has been in past years.

According to Olson, because of Winona State’s commitment to Title IX rules the school needed to create a better facility for Women’s Gymnastics. That new facility is the reason that McCown Gym is a fourth smaller than before.

“I apologize to any graduating seniors and their families,” Olson said during his presentation. “There wasn’t much to do because of our commitment to Title IX.”

Representatives in WSUSS brought up concerns about current students who want to see their peers and what happens to the family members who cannot sit in McCown.

For them there will be overflow seating in the Performing Arts Center and the Somsen Auditorium. Their families and friends will watch on a large screen.

Olson said the overflow seating might have donuts and coffee or something similar to help the people there still feel special.

By utilizing overflow seating in the Performing Arts Center and Somsen Auditorium, the university can accommodate about 1,500 additional people to McCown.

In the second half of his presentation, President Olson introduced the idea of creating a field house that would be partially funded by students.

For the past few years Winona State has been buying and knocking down houses along Winona Street, which is by the baseball field.

The school is still trying to buy one last house before these plans could continue.

The plan would be to move the baseball field over by South East Tech and build a field house that would end right next to the football field and Kwik Trip.

In the field house, there would be a field that would be the size of a football field, a track, sprinting track and an event room with a view.

The idea, Olson said, would be to host graduation there because the university could accommodate more people.

Olson said he wanted students to help fund it so students can have a say in how the building is used and have access to it. It would also then be a source of revenue for student funds.

WSUSS brought up concerns such as if Kwik Trip knew about the plan, possible overuse by community, parking and others.

Ron Dempsey, vice president of university advancement, helped to eliminate some of these concerns.

Dempsey said Kwik Trip has been informed since the beginning and likes the idea.

Olson said if students helped to pay for the field house then they could have a say in when and how the community uses it. He added the students would benefit because they would get part of the payment to use the facility.

Both Dempsey and Olson commented on the parking concern.

They said though some students do park on Winona Street. there is not much parking there, so it would not be taking away much.

After President Olson spoke, two clubs, International Studies Association and Asian American Club did presentations asking senate to fund trips to conferences.

These motions were tabled till next week.

The meeting then moved to regular agenda by committee, president and treasurer reports.

After that WSUSS voted on various motions.