MSA delays committee vote after ‘joint fiasco’ last week

The executive committee will review the forum speaker’s bylaw interpretation before a final vote.

Cali Owings

The 2010-11 Student Services Fees Committee is still in limbo after the Minnesota Student Association voted Tuesday to table approval of the committee members.

Candidates for the fees committee âÄî which awards student service fees money to student groups âÄî are vetted by selectors from MSA and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

Both governments must then approve the slate of fees committee members. During a joint meeting Oct. 20, the groups were set to approve the slate, but rules regarding procedure were not established prior to the meeting.

Forum speaker Lauren Quick interpreted the bylaws and constitutions of both groups to determine that each body is independent and able to remove two members from the fees committee.

GAPSA voted to remove two of last yearâÄôs committee members, Paul Freeman and Andrew Wagner. Quick said the bylaws contain no information about putting people back on the committee or resolving issues between GAPSA and MSA. At this point, MSA can remove two more people or approve the slate with GAPSAâÄôs amendments.

MSA tabled the approval of the fees committee until its executive board is able to review QuickâÄôs interpretation of the bylaws. If the board upholds QuickâÄôs interpretation, forum will also vote to approve the interpretation. But if the board does not approve, GAPSA and MSA will have to decide how to move forward, Quick said.

GAPSAâÄôs executive board will also be reviewing the decisions made last week, GAPSA Vice President of Student Affairs Bree Dalager said. During the executive board meeting next Wednesday, they can decide whether to uphold QuickâÄôs interpretation of the bylaws, but the general assembly does not have to approve this decision.

Nick Saab, an MSA representative, said the interpretation of the bylaws needed to be reviewed by the executive board because he was concerned that MSA lost their say over the vote, since they didnâÄôt have a quorum at the joint meeting.

Saab said the removal of Freeman and Wagner seemed “illegitimate” because of GAPSAâÄôs history with the fees committee after turning in their application late last year.

The process for approving the fees committee with GAPSA should be reviewed, Quick said, calling the meeting last week a “joint fiasco.”

Quick said she tried to step back during the joint meeting to review the bylaws and past precedents in order to preside over the meeting fairly.

“I tried to make the best decisions possible,” she told forum, adding that she understood the frustration shared by MSA and GAPSA members.

For the meantime, MSA decided to allow all slated fees committee members to begin training. The fees committee has to be approved before the last Tuesday in November.

After waiting on stage for more than an hour during the joint meeting, fees committee members attended forum in St. Paul only to be told again that the decision had not been made.

Megan Sweet, an adviser for MSA, GAPSA and the fees committee, told forum she was concerned that the committee members would choose not to participate because of the actions of student government.

Quick said typically, approving the fees committee goes much smoother with no removals, like the approval of the All Campus Elections Commission. Prolonged discussion for ACEC did not occur, and MSA approved the five commissioners.