Making their opinions known

Parking, housing and financial woes are on the minds of Minot State University students who took part in the Free Speech Plaza in honor of Constitution Day on Tuesday.

“A lot of students want parking,” said Jynette Larshus, assistant professor of sociology and political science at the college.

Students from the history and sociology clubs had set up tables in the university’s Student Center, where students passing by could write their concerns on large sheets of paper. The clubs had come up with different questions to prompt student answers about their concerns.

Students have their eye on the patch of land where Erik Ramstad Middle School was once located. Ramstad was destroyed in the flood in 2011 and the school district had the building razed and is constructing a new middle school in north Minot. Larshus said the school district is permitting MSU faculty and students to park on the empty land this fall. No final decision has been made about what to do with the land, but MSU students had some ideas, including a paved parking lot, a community center or a daycare center.

Housing was another issue on students’ minds, said Larshus. While they didn’t use the words “rent control,” many said they think there should be lower rents.

And world affairs, including the possibility of the U.S. entering the military conflict in Syria, was also at the forefront of their minds. Larshus said students were firmly against military intervention in Syria, though a few said they wouldn’t object to the U.S. providing humanitarian assistance to students.

Other students said that financial problems or women’s health care were on their minds.

The law mandates that universities that receive public monies pay note to Constitution Day in some way, said Larshus. Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.