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BSU students elected to MnSCU student association

BEMIDJI -- Two BSU students will represent students in the greater MnSCU system as they've now been elected to the Minnesota State University Student Association.

Kari Cooper, a senior liberal studies major from Sauk Rapids who now serves as BSU co-president, was elected state chair of the MSUSA organization. She will serve a one-year term representing all students at the seven state universities in the Minnesota Colleges and Universities system.

Laura Duscher, a senior in nursing from Bemidji, was elected vice-chair.

They were elected during the MSUSA spring delegates assembly this past weekend in Brainerd. They will serve during the 2014-15 session, which begins in the fall.

"I have been involved with MSUSA since my freshman year," Cooper said in a BSU news release. "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 said 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.

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in St. Paul, the MSUSA 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.