MSA insists on continued role in fees

Jens Krogstad

The Minnesota Student Association Forum began molding next year’s Student Services Fees process at its Tuesday meeting.

Several Forum members authored a resolution stating it will oppose any reduction in MSA’s and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly’s role in the fees process.

The resolution passed with little opposition.

Forum member Josh Colburn said it is important to keep MSA and GAPSA involved in the fees process because student governments are best able to represent students.

“Any decrease in student input is a bad thing,” Forum member Kevin Wendt said.

Forum member Adam Van Wagner said the resolution is a response to what MSA was hearing from the University administration.

“Representatives of MSA and GAPSA (independently) came to the administration about taking MSA out of the process,” he said.

Opponents of the resolution said they agreed on protecting student involvement in the process, but were concerned about MSA’s conflict of interest as a fees-receiving group.

MSA picks the selectors who choose fees committee members. The appointments are contingent on MSA and GAPSA approval.

“(With this resolution) we’re saying MSA and GAPSA should be involved and not students,” said Forum member Patrick Delaney, who opposed the resolution.

MSA Campus Relations Chairman Ibanga Umanah, an author of the resolution, said MSA’s conflict of interest was considered, but the issue is not related to the current resolution.

Eliminating MSA’s conflict of interest would require MSA to be a nonfees-receiving group, something that is under consideration, he said.

MSA president-elect and Housing and Facilities Chairman Tom Zearley said changes to the fees process will likely be decided this summer.

The Forum also approved some MSA executive board stipends for this semester after hearing reports from the stipend review committee.

Legislative Affairs Chairwoman Amanda Hutchings, Diversity Education Fund Chairman Dan Nelson and Forum Speaker Martin Andrade received a 10 percent cut from their allotted stipends.

Hutchings and Nelson each received $450 of their $500 stipend and Andrade received $900 of his $1,000 stipend.

Andrade became irate after the stipend review committee read its reasoning for his reduction.

“The three people cut are Amanda, Dan and me – College Republican, (Campus) Republican and Campus Republican,” he told the Forum, raising his voice. “I think (the cuts) are obviously targeted and I think the stipend review committee can go to hell!”

Andrade later apologized to the Forum for his outburst, calling it “inappropriate.”