Student gov’t fails to select fees members

Disagreements between GAPSA and MSA halted the committee selection.

Cali Owings

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and Minnesota Student Association held a joint session Wednesday night to approve the slate for the 2010-11 Fees Committee and All Campus Elections Commission, but disagreements over procedure interrupted the agenda.
Rules for governing the meeting were not established prior to the discussion of the lineup presented by fees selectors. After consulting each respective governmentâÄôs by-laws, Lauren Quick, speaker of the MSA Forum, determined each group was allowed to remove two members off the slate. It was not determined what would happen if MSA and GAPSAâÄôs final approved slates differed but Megan Sweet, adviser to MSA, GAPSA and the Fees Committee, said they would probably have to have another joint meeting.
The slate for the Fees Committee presented by GAPSA selectors Devin Driscoll and Bree Dalager and MSA selectors Wes Halseth and John Worden included 15 committee members and seven alternates. Of the 22 members of the presented slate, six had previously served on the Fees Committee.
The fees selectors received 63 applications and held interviews with more than 30 candidates.
All of the fees selectors said they had âÄúfull confidenceâÄù in the ability of the slate as presented.
The 20 candidates present for the meeting stood on stage for more than an hour while the student governments debated approval of the entire candidate list and tried to make amendments to remove individual members.
GAPSA representatives raised concerns over Paul FreemanâÄôs continued involvement with the Fees Committee. Last year, Freeman served as chairman of the student groupsâÄô side of the Fees Committee.
Tyler Price, a GAPSA representative, said Freeman chose to obey certain rules and ignore others based on what benefited him most. Other GAPSA representatives characterized FreemanâÄôs behavior as unprofessional.
Freeman said GAPSAâÄôs accusations were personally motivated because he did not offer them special treatment last year when the group submitted its fees application late.
âÄúThey think it was unfair,âÄù Freeman said. âÄúAnd they took it out on me.âÄù
MSA representative Quinn OâÄôReilly, who spoke on behalf of Freeman in debate, said Freeman knew the rules better than anyone else and that he would be valuable to the committee this year.
After it was determined that MSA and GAPSA would vote to remove members from the slate independently, GAPSA representative Terrance Paape made a motion to remove Freeman from the committee. The motion passed 16-4 with 3 abstentions.
GAPSA also removed Andrew Wagner, who served on the committee last year.
MSA did not have enough members present to approve or amend the slate. Quick said they would be discussing the slate at their forum meeting Tuesday.
Fees Committee selectors Dalager, Worden and Halseth said they were âÄúdisappointedâÄù the slate was not approved as presented by both MSA and GAPSA.
Worden said the outcome of the meeting would lead to discourse between MSA and GAPSA and they would need to establish rules before the next joint meeting.
As an MSA representative, Halseth said he was âÄúnot willing to let GAPSA override and make decisions for MSA.âÄù