MSA trims budget, picks reps

JP Leider

In its first official meeting of the academic year Tuesday, the Minnesota Student Association approved its annual budget of slightly more than $150,000, down from almost $177,000 last year.

MSA President Emily Serafy-Cox noted savings from choosing not to hire a chief of staff and the fact that student organizations, MSA included, no longer have to pay rent for space in Coffman Union.

Under the new budget, the speaker of the Forum’s stipend increases from $2,400 to $3,000.

During the meeting, MSA also addressed the University’s fees process.

Recommendations have already been made by the Student Fees Advisory Committee, which was created this summer to improve the fees process. However, Serafy-Cox said creating a fees resolution was important to having a more open, public discussion.

During Forum, members passed a resolution with three new recommendations regarding updates to the University’s fees process.

MSA will recommend increasing the size of both the Student Fees Advisory and Student Organization committees by two students each.

Secondly, the resolution calls for reducing recently offered stipends to Student Fees Advisory Committee chairs and members by almost half what the Student Fees Advisory Committee recommended.

Finally, the resolution recommends establishing a formal fees review process at the end of the academic year to assess the effectiveness of the updated fees process.

Forum members also spent much of the evening electing five at-large representatives to Forum. Twelve people were nominated for the positions. Two more at-large representative spots will open up in MSA’s next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 4.

New at-large reps

Lanny Maetzold, a global studies junior, is one of five newly elected at-large representatives.

This year, Maetzold said he wants to create a “hell of a lot more student awareness” on campus.

First-year political science student Mark Lewandowski said he wants to let students know what is happening in their student government during his time on Forum.

Kristen Hofflander, a first-year marketing student, shared Lewandoski’s sentiments.

Hofflander said she wants to give the students a voice.

The other two newly elected representatives took a different approach.

First-year political science student Emma Olson said she wants students to become more proactive in their community. Lauren McGowan, a first-year accounting and finance student, said she will push for larger student representation in local and state government.