Fees committee passes rules updating application process

Under the new rule, fees will go to Twin Cities Student Unions, which will then dole out building space to student groups.

Jens Krogstad

Looking ahead to next year, the current Student Services Fees Committee passed two resolutions to streamline the fees application process.

The first resolution switches the responsibility of paying rent from student groups to Twin Cities Student Unions.

Under the new plan, fees-receiving student groups would no longer apply to receive rent money and TCSU would receive additional fees for rent.

TCSU would then decide which groups receive space at Coffman Union and the St. Paul Student Center.

“This resolution would level the playing field for student groups,” said Lori Will, a TCSU employee who presented the amendment.

Some fees committee members favored the plan because it would prevent student groups from miscalculating their rent on the fees application.

“People blatantly lie about their rent and this will prevent that,” student groups fees committee chairman Lindsay Brown said.

A second amendment Brown authored gives his position the discretion to reject any group’s fees application that is “incomplete or unsatisfactory.”

The amendment allows the student groups committee to overrule the chair’s decision by a two-thirds vote.

Committee member Mesut Akdere said he had serious reservations about consolidating power to one person.

“I don’t like leaving things to discretion,” he said. “It jeopardizes the process and polarizes things.”

Brown argued the amendment would help expedite the fees process and enforce an existing rule.

He said the fees handbook states that incomplete applications are not acceptable.

The amendment passed on a 4-3 vote, with Brown breaking the tie.

Fees adviser Aaron Asmundson sought feedback from the committee on student groups auditing, which will begin next year.

He said student groups are supposed to be audited every other year, but it has not been done since 2001.

The committee also recommended that groups’ officer stipends be scrutinized and their programming costs be

verified.