March 6, 2017
Bozeman city news
By CHELSEA ANDERSON/Montana State News
The Bozeman City Commission voted last month to extend the interim zoning ordinance regarding “extended stay lodgings” for an additional six months.
The ordinance was passed last August because of residents’ complaints about noise and traffic in neighborhoods where there were a large number of property owners renting out their homes for Airbnb and VRBO purposes.
The City Commission placed the ordinance for six months to give staff time to investigate, solicit public comment, identify best practices and provide the commission with options to solve the issue.
Assistant City Manager Chuck Winn came before the commission to propose the six-month extension of the ordinance. He claimed the extra time was necessary to “determine the policy questions and to put forth a more coherent picture of the issues.” This would provide the commission with enough information to make permanent policy changes in regards to the “extended stay lodgings” in the affected zones. More
March 5, 2017
Education, MSU News
By SARAH SNEBOLD/Montana State News
A proposal for a new bachelor of arts program in computer science was presented to the Montana State University Faculty Senate Wednesday.
This program would consist of 40 computer science credits, a minor concentration in any bachelor of arts area and an additional year of modern languages and additional humanities classes.
This differs from the current computer science option of a major in a bachelor of arts and a minor in computer science, because the minor would only require 27 credits and would not include a capstone. With this program, it was argued that the students would be more marketable.
This new program has a variety of benefits, advocates for the programs said, especially for students interested in graphic design, music, sociology and political science. A senator from the music department said computer science is the first or second most popular double major or minor option for the students in this college, therefor this program would provide, “a great overlap.” More
March 5, 2017
Courts, Crime, State news
By ZACHARY COE/Montana State News
A bill to prevent sex trafficking in Montana was presented to the state House Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
Senate Bill 197 is proposed to prevent girls from being abducted from public institutions and sold into sex trafficking. It would require the Office of Public Instruction in collaboration with law enforcement and Montana Department of Health and Human Services, to support schools educating students on the dangers of sex trafficking a district policy.
The bill will be funded through the Department of Justice, as Health Education. Specialists will need to be brought into to educate public schools, and will have a net expenditure of around $90,000 per year with zero net revenue received. The price will fluctuate each year while considering inflation, but should level out around the desired price range for the foreseeable future. More
March 5, 2017
Bozeman city news, Community news
By TYLER BARTON/Montana State News
A finalized version of a transportation plan that is set to address the city’s rapid expansion until at least 2035 was presented at the Bozeman City Commission meeting Monday.
The Bozeman Transportation Master Plan, or TMP, is a planning process that was initiated 16 months ago. It is meant to assist city planning partners, as well as the Bozeman community in general, in guiding transportation infrastructure and implementation. It includes all travel and transportation modes, and will guide decisions until at least the year 2035.
Essentially, the TMP is the growth plan for all of Bozeman’s streets, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, walking paths, and other such transportation routes.
After a long period of planning, Public Works Director Craig Woolard said, “We’re down to what I would consider the final stretch of the process where we start to make recommendations for Bozeman’s transportation improvements over the next several decades.” More
March 5, 2017
Outdoors, Science, State news
By MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News
A state Senate committee tabled a measure that would remove brucellosis from the federal disease list.
Although this disease, which is carried by many wild elk and bison, can be transmitted from animals to humans, it is uncommon and can be cured easily. Some believe this disease still poses a lingering threat with over $3 billion already used trying to vaccinate cattle. SJ 19, introduced by Sen. Mike Phillips, D-Bozeman, was tabled by an 8-1 vote by the Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee.
According to testimony on the measure, many believe that once the disease is taken off the federal disease list, research will restart as scientists try to develop an effective vaccine. More
March 1, 2017
Crime, Education, MSU News
By TIM STOVER and MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News
The University of Montana student population has been on the decline since the 2011-2012 academic year.
The student population was 15,669 including both undergraduate and graduate as of 2012. However, graduate student population hasn’t suffered in the same way that undergraduate population has.
The graduate student population has fluctuated about 5 percent whereas the undergraduate student population has lost almost 20 percent to date. This 20 percent loss comes from losing roughly 3,000 students from the 2011-2012 academic year to the most recently reported 2015-2016 years.
During the same time period , MSU has grown a total of 12 percent, in undergraduate population. The graduate population at MSU has stayed around a 1 percent margin within the same time period.
Why has the undergraduate program at of U of M declined so much when compared to their counterparts at MSU? More
March 1, 2017
Lifestyles, MSU News
By AMANDA GROVER and BAY STEPHENS/Montana State News
Greek life has always been a staple of college movies, but at Montana State University Greek life entrance rates are extremely low.
According to MSU’s common data set for 2016-2017, 4 percent and 3 percent of the first-time freshman men and women enter Greek life, respectively. Overall, 2 percent of the MSU population join Greek life as undergraduates.
However, the rates weren’t much higher throughout the past decades. According to the 1996-1997 data set, 9 percent and 10 percent of the freshman men and women joined. The overall rates of undergraduate members joining Greek life were 7 percent for men and 5 percent for women.
Are these low rates endemic to MSU? Looking at MSU’s rival school—the University of Montana—the numbers are difficult to argue with. More