Prospects brighten for Romney Hall renovation

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By RANIA AMPNTEL CHAFINT/Montana State News

The Montana State Legislature is to vote on Romney Hall renovation plans in upcoming months, plans that would add more than 1,000 classroom seats at Montana State University, according to the university’s News Service.

The project to renovate Romney Hall would cost about $28 million to complete with Montana State University investing $1.7 million to from its reserve funds to support the project, according to the news service.

The renovation project is part of a package that includes “other state buildings and construction projects such as roads, bridges, and sewers,” according to Tracy Ellig, the executive director of university communications, “known as the ‘infrastructure package.’”

Currently, reserving classrooms at Montana State University is an extremely difficult process, with availability being rare even during the summer semester, according to Makiko Diehl, program coordinator at the MSU Office of International Programs. More

Students locked out of needed writing classes

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By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News

In recent years, students in some majors at Montana State University have been unable to get into the classes they need due to rapidly expanding student population. English writing majors in particular have especially experienced this problem.

Since 2010, when Waded Cruzado became president of Montana State University, the MSU student population has increased 21 percent. In 2016, MSU had over 16,000 students. For comparison, the population of Bozeman is around 43,000.

Writing was created as a specialization for the English degree relatively recently in Fall 2011. It grew fast for a few years, and has hovered at around 100 majors since fall of 2013. Unfortunately, the amount of classes relative to the amount of students in this major is disproportionate. More

MSU parking costs in line with other schools

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By ZACH COE/Montana State News

Montana State University students often say they are paying  outrageous prices for parking permits for the growing enrollment and limited spots. However, a review of other northwestern colleges reveals that this price is average.

On average, a commuting MSU student/faculty member pays $180 for a standard parking pass annually, according to the Montana State University website. For a student body of 16,000 students with an acceptance rate of 84 percent, this price seems outrageous when considering all of the other expenses that fall on students already.

The University of Montana, has nearly 4,000 fewer students with a 93 percent acceptance rate and yet the average cost of a parking pass is $225, according to the UM public website. This price is determined by how the university values their parking spots in relation to the number if students. More

Housing a ‘catastrophe’ for MSU students

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By MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

Montana State University students are unable to find affordable housing in Bozeman that allows for a healthy school, work, and life balance.

Rising MSU enrollment and other community population growth have reduced the rental vacancy rate to virtually zero.

Kas Hamilton, an MSU student, said that “Finding affordable housing is hard, especially for students. Some places are less likely to rent to you because they have bad tenants in the past who were students….”

Kevin O’Brien, of Peak Property Management and MSU’s Good Neighbor Committee, said, “outgoing freshmen are often surprised at the competitive nature of the Bozeman rental market.” More

State history, culture showcases at march

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By SARAH SNEBOLD/Montana State News

HELENA – All of the recent women’s marches around the country that followed the day after President Trump’s inauguration had a focus on human rights issues, such as women’s reproductive health, clean water, and access to healthcare.

But the march in Helena had a unique twist, with a focus on Montana history and culture. March organizers worked to actively include the indigenous population. Both the Cheyenne and Blackfoot tribes were represented, with speakers and march participants.

Janna Weaselboy-Caplette sang a Cheyenne veterans honor song. He said, “Women are the backbone of Native North America and we can say that to all women of this world…[We] recognized that the women needed their own flag and honor song.” As Janna sang, the significance in the words pointed to the woman beside him, Lauren Small Rodriguez Tsitsistas. She is the first Northern Cheyenne woman to join the U.S. Coast Guard. More

Montanans face future trouble on Real ID

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By JORDAN SPARR/Montana State News

In less than a year, a Montana drivers license will be insufficient identification for getting on a domestic airline flight.

And according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, this month Montana issued drivers licenses will not be enough to get into military bases, federal agencies and nuclear facilities due to state’s non-compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

The Department of Homeland Security’s website for Real ID compliance says that the Real ID Act, “… established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.”

Starting Jan. 30, the extension granted the state by the federal government will cease, and identification cards issued by the state of Montana will no longer be accepted as valid forms of ID.

The Motor Vehicle Division of Montana website states that state Legislature rejects the Real ID Act over concerns of federal overreach and privacy. More

Legal Washington pot coming into Montana

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By JACKSON NOLDE/Montana State News

The legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Washington is bringing more and more of the drug into Montana, according to authorities.

In a recent bust, police say they confiscated more than $1 million in marijuana headed for Montana.

According to Idaho State Police, a Chevy Tahoe on Interstate 90 near Kellogg, Idaho was pulled over last Friday around 9:30 a.m. During the traffic stop, a drug detecting dog alerted the officers of the marijuana. After the troopers received a search warrant they found 378 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $1 million. More

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