Madia revokes fees committee veto

Andrew Donohue

The Minnesota Student Association buried weeks of turmoil Tuesday by finalizing an alternates list for the 1998 Student Services Fees Committee.
By revoking last week’s veto of the alternate list, MSA President Jigar Madia put an end to more than a month of political pingpong and turned the student association’s attention back to everyday operation.
“I am revoking the veto not because of political power or a second guess, I firmly stand behind myself and my decision,” Madia said. “I am revoking because the issue is moot, it is time to go back to the real, day-to-day issues and legislation that effect the students.”
Madia’s motion came only after Bill Gilles, head of the college Republicans, had removed himself from the list of alternates.
“I resigned because the forces were aligned against me,” Gilles said. “The liberals in this forum and GAPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Association) would not tolerate a conservative with experience on the committee.”
In a debate that has seen more detours than a Midwest freeway in summer, members of the student association agree that Gilles’ decision was necessary.
“It was right that Bill Gilles stepped down. I know personally he was taken off of the list because of his unethical behavior, not because he is a College Republican,” said Katie Dudley, a sophomore senator of the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences.
The fees committee issue gained attention late fall quarter when GAPSA rejected a list of nine alternates, largely because of ethical questions that developed around Gilles.
After the graduate association turned down the slate, it returned for MSA’s approval, minus Gilles’ name. In a joint meeting called Jan. 6 because of time constraints, both GAPSA and MSA approved the slate of eight alternates.
The following week, Madia issued a statement that announced his decision to veto. He wrote that it was “based on the principle of fairness and my duty, as president, to do the right thing.”
“It was the right decision for himself, but not for MSA,” Dudley said.
Tuesday’s forum had planned on overriding Madia’s veto during its meeting by proposing a resolution drawn up by the group’s executive committee, which would have been voted on had Madia not revoked the veto.