The Minnesota State University Student Association will have a decidedly Bemidji State University flavor when its 2014-15 session begins this fall, as a pair of BSU students have been elected as the association’s chair-elect and vice-chair elect.
In elections held during the organization’s April 11-13 spring delegates assembly in Brainerd, Minn., Kari Cooper, a senior liberal studies major from Sauk Rapids, Minn., was elected state chair. She will serve a one-year term representing all students at the seven state universities in the Minnesota Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). Laura Duscher, a senior in nursing from Bemidji, was elected vice-chair.
“I have been involved with MSUSA since my freshman year,” Cooper said. “I saw this as the next step to taking on another leadership role. It’s exciting. There are a lot of opportunities to collaborate and work to find common issues, and then advocate for those issues on the MnSCU level.”
Cooper says one of her priorities as state chair will be to spearhead the association’s efforts related to student awareness of Minnesota’s SELF Loan program, administered through the state’s Office of Higher Education.
“Private loans have higher interest rates; these SELF loans are more affordable and easier to get,” Cooper said. “We want to make sure students know they have an opportunity to take that loan instead of a private loan that has much higher interest rates.”
Cooper will be the fifth Bemidji State graduate to hold the post of MSUSA state chair, following Andrew Spaeth (2010-11), Justin Klander (2001-02), John Ross (1979) and John Borg (1970-71).
In addition to being elected vice-chair, Duscher won the organization’s Most Engaged Leader Award. Bemidji State’s MSUSA chapter also shared the organization’s Campus Committee of the Year award with Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
“We are thrilled to work with Kari and Laura next year,” said Elsbeth Howe, director of the Minnesota State University Student Association. “Kari has served on the MSUSA board for two years and has been an excellent leader for both the association and for Bemidji State. Laura has won awards from the association and her enthusiasm will be a huge asset for us.”
About the Minnesota State University Student Association
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., the Minnesota State University Student Association is a focused, professional organization that shares the common interests and concerns of students at Minnesota’s seven state universities and works to identify a course of action to seek solutions for those concerns. The association provides an educational and developmental experience for the students through student participation in university and system governance. It also provides representatives to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, Office of Higher Education, Board of Trustees, State of Minnesota and other public agencies that require student input on committees, commissions, task forces, study groups, search committees and other groups that impact Minnesota state university students and Minnesota public higher education. Every student at Minnesota’s seven state universities is considered a member of the association.
• Elsbeth Howe, director, Minnesota State University Student Association; firstname.lastname@example.org, @elsbethhowe
• Jered Weber, director of communications, Minnesota State University Student Association; email@example.com