Admins should respect MSA

Daily Editorial Board

Following backlash to a vote by the undergraduate student government against a proposed campus-wide Sept. 11 “moment of recognition,” University of Minnesota administrators stepped in.
 
Five days after the Minnesota Student Association’s veto, school leaders announced that “regardless of MSA’s next steps, the University will move forward with its plans to honor and remember the victims of 9/11.”
 
The University’s Alumni Association also responded, with an email to its members clarifying that MSA is an “independent undergraduate student governing organization,” and that the association had offered its assistance to student leaders as they address issues — like potential anti-Muslim sentiment on campus — raised in MSA’s discussion of the resolution.
 
The message is clear: “Let the grown-ups take care of it.”
 
Joelle Stangler, MSA president, said, “Although I understand why the University stepped in and respect their decision to do so, I worry how this affects the legitimacy of the MSA Forum moving forward.” 
 
Perhaps alumni had begun to pull donations, or maybe the University jumped at the opportunity to swiftly mitigate some bad press after a year littered with it.
 
In any case, we believe it’s patronizing for University leaders to respond to misunderstanding and disapproval of the student government’s veto by taking matters into their own hands. By not allowing MSA time to rework and reconsider the measure in a meaningful way, administrators undermined our undergraduate student government. MSA is deprived of autonomy and impact if administrators can swiftly usurp any unpopular decisions it makes.