Rinehart to rule on funds

Monday’s hearing gave students the chance to appeal fees committee funding decisions.

Vice Provost of Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart Jerry Rinehart speaks at the annual hearing designed to allow students to appeal decisions made by the Student Service Fees Committee at Coffman Memorial Union on Monday.

Aleutian Calabay

Vice Provost of Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart Jerry Rinehart speaks at the annual hearing designed to allow students to appeal decisions made by the Student Service Fees Committee at Coffman Memorial Union on Monday.

Luke Feuerherm

Students took their last opportunity Monday afternoon to publicly protest fee recommendations made by the Student Services Fees Committee. âÄúThis was one of the more controversial fees processes in the past several years,âÄù Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart said. The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Minnesota International Student Association and the Somali Student Association, all of which submitted applications past the deadline, were in attendance to refute the committeeâÄôs decision to deny them funding. âÄúThe best case scenario is we will present our case and hope the administration will hear our case better than the fees committee did,âÄù SSA President Guled Ibrahim said. Minnesota Daily representatives were protesting an administrative units committeeâÄôs decision to cut $90,000 from the newspaperâÄôs reserve budget. âÄúWhile the input from the committee is appreciated, I can assure you we know what is best for the Daily,âÄù incoming Editor-in-Chief Devin Henry said in the meeting. âÄúWe have a plan for our reserves, which is outlined in the appeals document, and this cut will simply impede on the work weâÄôve already done to be fiscally responsible.âÄù The annual hearing was designed to allow students to appeal to Rinehart, who has the power to amend any decision made by the committee before forwarding the recommendation to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. Both the student group representatives and Rinehart voiced concern over the lack of a formal appeals process, made more evident this year because of the volume of late applications. âÄúThis was an unusual fees process âÄî rockier than some,âÄù Rinehart said. âÄúWeâÄôve identified a problem. Yep, no appeals. Not smart. Better fix that.âÄù In addition to the four predominant groups present, three other student groups submitted known appeals. Two of them, Students for a Conservative Voice and Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, were not in attendance. The Minnesota Public Interest Research Group had several members in attendance but only briefly addressed the vice provost because of the smaller cut they received compared to other groups present, MPIRG Chairman Ryan Kennedy said. âÄúI was extremely moved by the presentations tonight and by the immense impact these student organizations have and that show improvements to the process are needed,âÄù GAPSA President Kristi Kremers said. âÄúI think there needs to be a complete overhaul.âÄù The hearing was about 45 minutes long and was open to speakers from both the student organizations and administrative units branches of the Student Services Fees Committee. âÄúItâÄôs a matter of balancing respect for committee decisions with the needs of the student groups being cut,âÄù Rinehart said. âÄúI really want to respect the fees committeeâÄôs decision. The more I have to intervene, the more undermined the process becomes.âÄù Rinehart will meet with subcommittee chairmen Paul Freeman and Kenny Kappahn on Wednesday morning and said he hopes to send out his decisions by Friday afternoon. The vice provost ended his public comments Tuesday recognizing the weighty decisions ahead. âÄúGood luck to you all,âÄù he said, âÄúand good luck to me.âÄù