MSA votes to remove academic affairs chair

Emily Babcock

The Minnesota Student Association voted to remove Jessie Roos as chairwoman of its academic affairs committee Tuesday.
However, Roos, a College of Liberal Arts sophomore, will remain on the committee. And because MSA President Jigar Madia said he plans on vetoing the ratification today, the association will need a two-thirds majority override at its meeting next Tuesday for the removal to take effect.
Roos’ removal comes in response to her involvement in a lawsuit filed two weeks ago against the University Board of Regents. She is one of five students who stated in the lawsuit that a requirement to pay the student services fee is unconstitutional.
Members of the academic affairs committee, who voted last week to remove Roos, said the lawsuit creates a conflict of interest because Roos’ position as committee chairwoman entails interaction with regents on a regular basis. Also, with the lawsuit objecting specifically to the funding of student groups, such as the Queer Student Cultural Center, Roos is in violation of the MSA constitution and could not equally represent the student body, committee members said.
Furthermore, that Roos receives a stipend as an MSA member draws a conflict, said committee members, because the lawsuit is against the student services fee, which includes funds for MSA.
“I think that it has already been proven that her committee doesn’t have confidence in her,” said Alicia Lopez, a CLA freshman and the representative from La Raza Student Cultural Center.
Matt Curry, another of the students who filed the lawsuit, resigned his position as MSA student representative to the regents after filing suit.
But Roos said the lawsuit would not hurt maintainance of her chair position because one student cannot realistically represent the entire student body.
Although two members of the committee said they will resign if Roos is not removed, Madia said the removal process is “ugly politics” and that too often an individual’s stance becomes associated with the person, therefore creating a personal vendetta.