Fees committee

Robin Huiras

About half of the 37 groups that receive student services fees won’t get all the money they want, if the full committee accepts the recommendations of a fees sub-committee.
At the second of three student services fees committee hearings Thursday, these University groups pleaded their cases to receive the full amounts they had requested.
Representatives from about 20 cultural centers, student organizations and University offices stood before the 16-member board and asked for the funding to sustain themselves. While the committee is comprised of three staff members and 13 students, the final vote on Saturday is made exclusively by the students.
The student group to take the biggest cut is the Minnesota Student Association, which faces a 33 percent decrease in student service fees funding next year if the full committee acts on the sub-committee’s recommendations.
After the operating costs, salaries and grants, MSA would have a $5,000 spending budget for next year if the recommended cuts occur, said Brett Rowlett, MSA’s chairman of student life.
“We look at the cut as possibly a punishment for the way the (fees) proposal by MSA was made,” Rowlett said of the controversy over MSA’s fees request earlier this quarter. Foregoing tradition, MSA President Nikki Kubista and Vice President Erin Ferguson by passed the forum and submitted their request directly to the committee.
“They want us to start operating things in a better way,” Rowlett said.
Decreased student services fees means decreased advocation for students, he said. However, MSA is going to do the best job they can with the amount of money they get, Rowlett added.
“I don’t think we can give the fair representation students deserve with the cuts,” Rowlett said.
Allowing students the opportunity to address the entire fees committee gives students a voice which might otherwise not be heard, said Vicki Larson, fees committee adviser.
The hearings will continue today at the St. Paul Student Center, and Saturday the full committee will deliberate on the funding request for each organization. Although the deliberations are open, the only people able to speak are committee members.