Rebecca Czaplewski

The Minnesota Student Association saw its funding cut nearly in half by the Student Services Fees Committee on Saturday.
The fees committee approved $76,500 for MSA for the 1999-2000 school year. The association, which represents University undergraduates, initially requested nearly $200,000 in services fees, an increase from their allotment of $150,000 for the 1998-99 school year. Student services fees are the association’s only source of funding.
This cut comes in a student services fees package that will charge students less next year than this year. Overall student services fees, not including special assessments that are charged only to students who directly benefit from the service, decreased from $480.69 this year to $477.08 for the 1999-2000 school year.
Although most committee members supported MSA and their goals, many admitted that they aren’t comfortable with MSA’s current situation, which some characterized as ineffective.
“MSA could be a good organization if they did what they said they would,” said fees committee member Nick Zacherl.
The final decision on MSA was in keeping with the committee’s initial recommendation. MSA members had been aware of the potential for funding cuts for their group; some appeared at the fees committee’s public hearings to sway the committee’s decision.
“I’m not quite sure what the committee’s intentions were with the cut,” said MSA member Brett Rowlett. “The cut will be most felt by students and their representation.”
The final deliberations didn’t yield much change for other fees-receiving groups. The funding amount for some of the bigger organizations, such as Boynton Health Service, The Minnesota Daily and Recreational Sports, changed little from previous years.