MSA resolutions pan funding cuts, security monitors

One resolution opposed a proposed cut in state grants, which the MSA Forum says would hurt many University students.

Jens Krogstad

The Minnesota Student Association passed two resolutions Tuesday concerning cuts to higher-education state grants and proposed security monitors in University housing.

One unanimously passed resolution opposed Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposed $20 million cut to state grants when tuition has increased 50 percent since 2001.

MSA Campus Relations Chairman Ibanga Umanah co-sponsored the bill and said the cut would make higher education less accessible because 65 percent of state grant recipients have a yearly family income of less than $30,000.

He said the cuts would prevent many first-generation college students from attending the University. More than half of the grant money goes to students attending the University, Umanah said.

“I think as a state-grant institution, we have a responsibility to make this University as accessible as possible,” he said.

The other resolution opposed University Housing and Residential Life’s plan to place security monitors at the front entrances of all of its dormitories and apartments Thursday through Saturday nights.

The Residence Hall Association, the representative body for residence hall students, passed a similar resolution earlier this month.

The plan would start next year and could be expanded to every night of the week for the 2005-06 school year.

MSA forum representative Mike May, who is also the Residence Hall Association’s vice president, said the plan is being pushed through despite vast student opposition.

“The housing department has the choice to listen to students or ignore them,” he said. “Residence hall students have spoken loud and clear.”

MSA Housing and Facilities Chairman Tom Zearley said a similar program is already in place at two first-year student dormitories.

The program wastes students’ money and is ineffective because of inconsistent enforcement of the multiple entry points in the dormitories, he said.

MSA Forum also announced an update in its effort to reform University Dining Services.

A “UDS Forum” will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today in 302 Coffman Union. Students will be able to speak to UDS management about concerns.