MSA supports

Rebecca Czaplewski

The controversy surrounding the alleged misconduct in the men’s athletic department made its way into the Minnesota Student Association on Tuesday afternoon as Forum members passed a resolution supporting the investigation.
After the resolution passed nearly unanimously, the association pounded out their 1999-2000 budget, eliminating two full-time office positions.
In the first MSA Forum meeting in the era of newly-elected president Ben Bowman and vice president Matt Clark, Bowman expressed the need for the student organization to take a stance on the investigation into the alleged scandal.
“It’s basically giving our support,” Bowman said. “The administration and (University President Mark) Yudof are moving in the right direction, and we trust what they’ve done so far.”
Clark said the resolution would be helpful to keep the lines of communication open between the student organization and administration.
But the resolution wasn’t passed without debate.
Some members questioned the wording of the resolution and the fact that the charges are only allegations.
“They are still allegations, and we have to wonder why the alleged victims didn’t go to the police,” said Forum member Mike Miller.
Forum members also took a look at the organization’s budget for the 1999-2000 school year.
Bowman and Clark presented the budget to the association, which received a major cut this winter from the Student Services Fees Committee.
The budget fit within the lines of the fees committee’s philosophy for MSA and responsible spending, Bowman said.
But the subject of stipends for MSA’s paid positions soon turned to debate among the members.
Because of budget reductions, MSA cut two full-time paid office positions — work that will now fall onto the shoulders of MSA officials, Bowman said.
“This is an increased responsibility — if no one is going to watch the office, someone has to be there,” he said.
The two eliminated positions cut approximately $30,000 from the annual budget.
MSA stipend positions include president, vice president, speaker and the chairpersons of the three main committees. Bowman will receive $4,900 and Clark will get $4,500 for the year.
Some members questioned the amount that was allotted to paid MSA officials, saying students benefit more from the organization when stipends are smaller.
“The lower we go, the more respected we will be from the student body as a whole,” said Miller.
Another Forum member brought up the workload required of paid positions.
“How can you expect them to be leaders when they work other jobs?,” queried Nick Minderman. “If the chairpeople can’t dedicate the time, that’s when the stuff falls through. We need to compensate them.”