NDSA – The Voice of the Students

December 1, 2017

The North Dakota Student Association (NDSA) is an organization of students from the 11 public higher education institutions within the North Dakota University System. We advocate for the students by spreading awareness within our institutions about the topics and issues being discussed in higher education and empowering them to be able to promote their own ideas to improve upon the standard of education in our state. It is our goal to represent the students within the NDUS with an open mind, integrity, and a unified voice from all institutions

Monthly meetings are set within each school year for student delegates to be able to congregate and discuss the topics and issues within the system of higher learning for North Dakota. Each month our meeting is hosted by a different institution where a guest speaker from their community is invited to speak to our delegation about their experiences in leadership, open perspectives, and the like in order to motivate our delegation of students to continue our mission in their respective institutions and be well-rounded student leaders. We meet in three different committees throughout the night, namely the Internal Affairs Committee (IAC), the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), and the State and Legislative Affairs Committee (SLAC). During each committee’s discussions our student delegates share their varying perspectives in order to better advocate for the overall welfare of all of our students. The job of IAC is to handle and maintain our internal operations while improving our organization so that we become more efficient in carrying out our initiatives. SAC focuses on student concerns and providing a platform for students to be able to discuss their thoughts on the issues that impact higher education and the NDUS. SLAC ensures that we have the ability to make our students’ voices heard by those in charge of higher education. SLAC also makes sure that we are knowledgeable of North Dakota’s legislative process and how we can advocate for our students at the state level. We reconvene on Saturday mornings to talk about the discussions had in our committees, recommend and debate upon action items, vote upon our body’s decisions, and network amongst delegations. It is through this process that we are able to ensure that we can advocate for all of our students and arrive at the opinions and decisions that best represents the students of North Dakota.

In order to represent our students, we stay active with the NDUS and place student representation in the conversations that affect higher education. Our delegates fill council positions where it is deemed necessary and communicate back to our assembly what is going on within the different councils in order  to fulfill our advocacy. Our officers ensure to analyze every information they can attain to equip our assembly with the knowledge to serve our mission and fight for the welfare of the students of our state.

Within the school year so far our assembly has had three meetings with great conversations about the different issues going on in higher education. We have been working on resolutions regarding chosen names, OERs, and Minnesota Reciprocity. Our officer team has made great strides by establishing relationships within the NDUS. We are currently working in conjunction with the NDUS on a Student Art Project and Student Vlog Project. The goal of these two projects is to represent the students within the NDUS and bring together all of our institutions. We’ve brought more student representation on NDUS councils and continue to find passionate delegates to be part of the many councils within the system geared towards improving the higher educational system.

Overall our mission is thriving. Every day new advocates for our institutions are created through  students who are passionate about spreading the awareness of the NDSA and our goal, which is to represent the student perspective in the important conversations had within and about higher education. We continually find ways to fulfill the purpose of our organization and hope to be able to inspire and motivate the generations of students to come to work together to let their voices be heard.