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Bemidji State student to head state university student association

Andrew Spaeth, co-student body president at Bemidji State University during the 2009-10 school year, has been elected president of the Minnesota State University Student Association for the 2010-11 academic year.

Members of the association held elections for new officers in April. Spaeth is also a member of the association's Board of Directors.

"Public higher education is an important investment for our taxpayers to make," Spaeth said. "For every dollar invested in the public higher ed in the state of Minnesota, our state sees a return of roughly $10.87. Eighty percent of MnSCU graduates stay and work in Minnesota and an investment in education today will result in both economic and social benefits in the future.

"The Minnesota State University Student Association represents nearly 70,000 students at seven campuses," Spaeth said. "My first thought on being elected is how to engage these students in some dialogue about what their concerns are. We all know that access and affordability are huge priorities, but I want to know what other challenges students are facing.

"We also will focus on funding and the state appropriation," Spaeth said. "We need to get students in front of their legislators to share with them how important public higher education really is. Getting students to the polls is another huge priority. This year MSUSA will have 'Get Out the Vote' campaigns on each of the seven state university campuses. We are really excited about getting students out to vote and making sure their voices are heard."

Caitlin Stene, student body president at Winona State University, will be the association's new vice chair.

New officers begin their terms on July 1, 2010.