GAPSA gives $1,600 to house fire victims

by Stephanie Kudrle

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday to make a $1,600 donation to an emergency assistance fund for victims of the recent house fire.

The fund will help survivors of the Sept. 20 house fire in Dinkytown replace items lost in the fire.

GAPSA President Todd Powell introduced the resolution to the assembly at Tuesday’s meeting, GAPSA’s first of the year. He said it is important to show support after the tragic event.

“It’s amazing how this has struck so many people’s lives,” Powell said. “I see this as support for the students and community.”

Powell also said GAPSA needs to take an active role in working to improve off-campus housing conditions.

“It is appalling for landlords to think it’s acceptable to receive hundreds of violations in a few short years,” he said.

The Minnesota Student Association also met Tuesday.

The Forum approved a resolution to recommend posting students’ instructor evaluations online.

MSA Vice President Jeff Nath pushed for the resolution’s approval and said it would give students more information about professors when registering for classes.

“This is a good way to find out about the good and bad professors,” he said. “I think this is a great idea.”

MSA President Eric Dyer said a committee researched the idea by looking at other colleges.

“We are one of the only schools in the Big Ten without student evaluations,” Dyer said. “Students do want this.”

MSA also voted 20-12 to reject a resolution supporting the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3800 in its negotiations with the University.

“Clerical workers are not bigwigs,” said Nath, who introduced the resolution. “They don’t ask for a lot.”

He also said increasing student tuition should not be used as a reason to deny workers benefits and job security.

Others disagreed. MSA Forum member Tony Zammit said the student government needs to look at both sides of the issue before supporting one.

Forum member Josh Colburn said he was confused by resolution’s reasoning.

“How can we keep students from seeing the cost of this?” he asked. “There are state funds, student tuition and administration money. … We’re going to see one piece of the pie go up.”