MSA shouldn’t carry fees request

The Minnesota Student Association will vote today whether to ask the Student Services Fees Committee to fund the USA Today College Readership Program at a cost of $5 per student. Student activities fees adviser Aaron Asmundson said no for-profit company has ever received Student Services Fees. It should stay that way.

To apply for Student Services Fees, groups must either be a University department (students must help decide how to disperse the fees), considered an “administrative unit” or a registered student organization.

USA Today belongs to none of these categories, which is why it is trying to get MSA to bring the paper’s proposal forth. If MSA votes to do so, the readership program will be part of MSA’s own fees budget request to the committee. The readership program request, however, would be considered separately from MSA’s operating budget request. Whatever decision the fees committee makes will not affect MSA’s budget.

It appears student government and the readership program are using a loophole to circumvent the requirements for receiving student services fees. This is unethical and perhaps even illegal.

Regardless, is it fair for a for-profit, non-University group to receive mandatory student fees? No. Students should not be forced to fund companies. If MSA agrees to carry the readership program forward, it will set a dangerous precedent.

Students already pay costly student fees and higher tuition, rent and everything else. We don’t have money left. Call the MSA office or e-mail MSA representatives and tell them you do not want your money to fund corporations.