MSA approves fees slate during emergency forum

It took MSA four tries to formally approve the members of the Student Service Fees Committee.

Cali Owings

In a special forum called by the speaker, the Minnesota Student Association approved an amended slate of 2010-11 Student Services Fees Committee members.

The special forum session was MSAâÄôs fourth opportunity to approve the slate after they lost quorum during a joint meeting with the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Oct. 20. The fees committee needed to be approved before the last Tuesday in November, but MSA did not schedule a forum before then due to Thanksgiving.

“IâÄôve said this in my dreams, about 5,000 times,” Speaker Lauren Quick told forum when she called to question the approval of the amended slate.

After the committee was approved, members of forum broke out into applause.

Approval was delayed due to formal complaints regarding QuickâÄôs interpretation of their bylaws. Quick determined that MSA would consider the original fees committee slate but respect GAPSAâÄôs removals. During the joint forum, GAPSA removed Paul Freeman, former chairman of the SSFC, from the slate, along with Andrew Wagner.

In consideration of the original fees slate Tuesday, MSA voted to strike Wagner and Benjamin Vick.

Members of forum expressed concern over WagnerâÄôs behavior when he was removed from the slate by GAPSA during the Oct. 20 meeting.

MSA representative Nick Saab said he and other members of forum observed Wagner swearing and throwing garbage.

MSA representative Sean Niemic said one of the key areas MSA should be considering when evaluating fees committee members is behavior. Niemic said he was approached by half a dozen members of forum who said WagnerâÄôs behavior was unacceptable.

“That behavior does not belong on the Student Services Fees Committee,” Niemic said.

Wagner, who was recently hired as a marketing consultant at the Minnesota Daily, said the accusations of him throwing garbage were “bizarre.”

He said he got into a disagreement with GAPSA member Kristi Kremers because she and other members couldnâÄôt cite reasons for the removal of Freeman, other than “not granting them preferential treatment” in the fees process last year.

Vick, who was previously on the fees committee, was also removed after debate about his lack of attendance at the joint forum and subsequent MSA forums regarding the approval of the fees committee.

Freeman, who was previously removed from the committee by GAPSA, recently became vice president of grants for GAPSA.

With three members of the slate removed by MSA and GAPSA, alternates will fill in the empty spots. The original fees slate included 22 members with seven alternates.

Wagner, Vick and Freeman would have served on the student organization fees committee. In their places, three of the four alternates designated to that committee will become members.