MSA forum discusses budget, bylaws

by Devin Henry

Minnesota Student Association President Emma Olson said it wasn’t the most exciting MSA forum of the year Tuesday, but it was one of the most important.

MSA members tackled issues including the group’s budget and changes to its bylaws and Constitution.

The budget

MSA voted to contribute more than $17,000 in student service fees to Lend a Hand, Hear the Band, an event with an expected total price tag of more than $67,000.

Last year, MSA contributed more than $40,000, but MSA Vice President Ross Skattum said reducing food and advertising costs this year cut the event’s total cost.

Confusion abounded over increased funding for “Campus to the Capitol,” a weeklong event in April meant to increase students’ political awareness, put on by 13 different student groups, including MSA.

Originally budgeted for $2,000, MSA members Jim Forrey and Ryan Kennedy sought to increase the amount to more than $3,000.

Although they originally requested $10,000 from the MSA for the event, Kennedy said any increased funding would help pay for a band to have a concert to conclude the event.

“We need to secure the money now,” Kennedy said. “If you’re not going to spend it anywhere else, we’d like it.”

Forrey said he anticipates the concert, which is expected to cost about $25,000, to outdraw Lend a Hand, Hear the Band.

The forum voted to postpone the measure until the next forum.

Excluding the funds for the Campus to the Capitol event, the budget was unanimously approved.

“We want to make sure we cover our existing commitments,” Olson said. “We want to make sure we use student money very wisely.”

Bylaws and Constitution

In addition to the budget, MSA leadership proposed bylaw and Constitutional amendments, which will be voted on next week.

Olson said the most significant of the multiple bylaw amendments were the establishment of an MSA steering committee and a policy requiring MSA officers to file transitional reports at the end of each year.

“We want to make sure we are fluid year to year,” Olson said. “A lot of student groups struggle with that.”