MSA weighs letting alcohol in Coffman

University students might be able to drink alcohol at Coffman Union’s Goldy’s Gameroom after the Minnesota Student Association passed a resolution Tuesday.

The resolution would allow MSA to work with the Twin Cities Student Unions Board of Governors and the Board of Regents to make the alcohol exemption happen.

Several other Big Ten universities, including the University of Iowa and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have places for students to drink responsibly in their student unions, said Aaron Solem, MSA Diversity Education Fund Committee chairman.

“I don’t think Coffman has been attracting as many people as they wanted,” Solem said.

“More of the University (of Minnesota) is composed of students ages 21 and older. An on-campus bar would add unification of the University (of Minnesota).”

Some arguments against the resolution included issues about excluding students under the age of 21 and students of religious or ethnic backgrounds that prohibit the use of alcohol.

MSA also debated three position statements.

A statement calling for more state support of higher education at the University of Minnesota was passed.

Emily Serafy Cox, MSA Legislative Affairs Committee chairwoman, said MSA will value education and support any avenue of funding for the University of Minnesota.

“In our efforts to increase revenues, there will be an increase of funding in the state budget, which allows more flexibility with funding for the University (of Minnesota),” Serafy Cox said.

The second position statement, which was about MSA opposition to the proposed elimination of Perkins Loans, did not pass. Serafy Cox said that by eliminating Perkins Loans, there could be a possible increase in Stafford Loans.

But she said those loans do not help students without credit or who have parents without credit.

“Why should students with no credit or who have parents with less-than-perfect credit be punished for receiving aid in their education?” she said.

The third position statement passed and stated that MSA opposes efforts by Minnesota to enact an Academic Bill of Rights.

Rubens Feroz, an MSA Forum member, said there is no reason the State Legislature should be involved with the bill. This issue should be decided within the University of Minnesota, he said.

“If this decision in the State Legislature was enacted, it would affect schools statewide,” Feroz said.

“Who is to say what applies for (the University of) St. Thomas should apply for our university?”

A proposal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with a U.S. flag before each Forum meeting was voted down.

Most of the group argued that if the United States were represented by the U.S. flag, MSA might discriminate against people not from the United States.

There were no bylaw changes voted on about creating a rules committee. The committee was intended to review and discuss all proposed changes to the MSA bylaws before being submitted to the Forum.

MSA President Tom Zearley said that because of vague wording in new rulings and proposals, a review and discussion committee would make things run more smoothly and quickly.

Marty Andrade, an MSA representative and columnist for The Minnesota Daily, said creating more bylaws and trying to limit problems can create more problems.

A new bylaw was adopted focusing on the fiscal and budget policy. With this bylaw, all Executive Committee stipends will be divided equally and distributed monthly.

Zearley said the newly elected Executive Committee members could choose whether to take their first payment at the beginning or at the end of the summer.

“There are definitely checks on the executive board,” Zearley said. “Those who do not fulfill their duties properly are at risk for impeachments and are not entitled to the stipend.”