23 of 74 approved for fees committee

Members were chosen based on qualifications and background.

JP Leider

With little contention, members of the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly approved 23 members to the Student Services Fees Committee at their joint meeting Tuesday.

The fees committee will recommend how $22 million in Student Services Fees should be awarded this spring.

The selection process began early last week when four fees selectors narrowed the field of 74 applicants in half – eventually interviewing 35 students.

From this pool, selectors recommended six students to the administrative committee and nine to the student organizations committee, with four alternates for each.

Administrative committee members will recommend how Boynton Health Service, Radio K, The Minnesota Daily and several other units should be funded. Members of the Student Organizations Committee will evaluate how to fund other student groups.

While most GAPSA and MSA representatives spoke positively about then-prospective members of the fees committee, some questioned the role of women in the fees process.

Of 15 committee members and eight alternates, seven are women.

Amy Jo Pierce, a student representative to the Board of Regents, said she was surprised at the predominately male makeup of the fees committee.

“Out of 74 applicants, I’d expect more qualified women,” she said. “I’m not for a quota system, but I was surprised at how few women were (nominated to) the committees.”

Fees selector Sam Henly said that although there are more men than women on the committee, it was not a conscious effort.

“Nobody was really an advocate for any single demographic,” he said.

In addition, Henly said, only about one-third of the applicants were women.

Committee members were chosen based on qualifications, enthusiasm and their background, he said, and that process yielded a diverse committee.

One of the largest differences in this year’s committee makeup is in the number of graduate and professional students.

Four committee members are graduate or professional students, three of whom are affiliated with GAPSA.

While these students may work on the committee, rules prohibit them from participating in discussion of GAPSA during the fees process.

Fees selector John Schrom said the number of graduate or professional students affiliated with GAPSA is coincidence.

“The process didn’t favor them in the sense of cronyism,” he said. “It was more that they happened to be qualified.”

Being part of GAPSA didn’t count for or against an applicant, he said.

While Schrom said those affiliated with GAPSA could exert some political pressure if they choose to, he doesn’t doubt any committee member’s “viewpoint neutrality.”

“Everyone that’s on the committee deserves to be on the committee and is qualified,” he said.