MSA

Sean Madigan

The Minnesota Student Association narrowly ratified the Fees Committee slate in a 22-20-3 vote Tuesday during its bimonthly forum.
Along with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the association selects two students to serve on the Fees Selection Committee. The selection committee then interviews and compiles a slate of 13 Fees Committee members and four alternates to be ratified by both MSA and GAPSA.
Only two of the 13 candidates and one of the alternates were at the forum meeting. The selection committee had not reached a decision on the slate until 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Candidates were not aware they were supposed to attend the meeting Tuesday afternoon, forum members said. The only candidates that attended were also affiliated with MSA.
Debate over the ratification began when some MSA members said they had insufficient information on the people the selection committee chose.
“Why shouldn’t we get a better look at who these people are?” asked Jesse Berglund, student senator. Representative Britta Ylikopsa agreed with Berglund: “I feel really uncomfortable voting for people I don’t know,” Ylikopsa said.
Ylikopsa then motioned that the vote on the ratification be pushed back so that representatives could have more time to learn about the candidates.
The motion to table the ratification was met with strong opposition, especially by members of the selection committee.
Paula Brummel, a third-year law student and member of the selection committee, said delaying the process would only delay the starting time for the fees committee. Brummel had no problem divulging information on the candidates or explaining the selection criteria, but she questioned MSA’s “double checking our work.”
“Are they expecting us to defend our choices?” Brummel questioned.
The motion to delay the vote was narrowly denied, 20 votes for and 22 against with three abstentions.
“This is one of the most important votes we have all year,” said Student Life co-chairman Brett Rowlett. “You can be against the committee in a couple of days or for this committee in a couple of days but just give us time to make an educated decision.”
Rowlett urged the forum not to ratify the slate until the forum had time to review the candidates on the slate more thoroughly.
An identical slate must be ratified by both GAPSA and MSA. If the slate fails in either association, an identical slate can be resubmitted.