MSA picks next executive board, names Zearley student rep to regents

by Jens Krogstad

The Minnesota Student Association Forum chose next year’s executive board Tuesday.

Outgoing MSA Vice President Jeff Nath called the meeting possibly the most important one of the year.

“Because the president can’t get everything done, the executive board committee is what makes MSA run,” he said.

The Forum voted Andy Sorsoleil, Nathan Wanderman and MSA president-elect Tom Zearley as MSA representatives to the Board of Regents, the University’s governing body.

Having the president also serve as a representative to the regents is an unprecedented move for MSA and was questioned by some Forum members.

Josh Colburn said the concern was a separation of powers issue. He said the MSA president has no vote on issues brought up in Forum while a representative to the regents does have one.

Outgoing MSA President Eric Dyer, who pushed for the move, said it is important for the MSA president to have a good relationship with the regents, especially when discussing tuition.

“We need the (MSA) president to be able to pull rank on (University President) Bob Bruininks,” he said. “Because when I talk to Bob about tuition, he isn’t listening.”

The Forum also passed an amendment to its constitution that allows neighborhood associations to pick a student representative to the assembly.

Southeast Como, Marcy-Holmes, Prospect Park, Cedar-Riverside, St. Anthony Park and Falcon Heights neighborhood associations are each allowed a student representative.

President-elect Tom Zearley briefly addressed the Forum about complaints from last month’s all-campus election and assured that the allegations are not a glimpse into next year’s MSA leadership.

“Please look at the facts,” he said. “I’m still looking into exactly what happened, and when I find out, I’ll let you all know.”

A natural gas leak prompted an evacuation of Coffman Union approximately 45 minutes after the meeting started. Forum members briefly moved to a plaza area behind the union before finishing their meeting at a club room in Riverbend Commons.

Next year’s executive board members will include Legislative Affairs Chairwoman Emily Serafy Cox; Diversity Education Fund Grants Chairman Aaron Solem; Facilities and Housing Chairman Sam Ero-Phillips; Academics and Services Chairman Mike May; Campus Relations Chairwoman Betsy Raguse; Representative to the Executive Board Shaun Laden; Student Senate Consultative Committee chairs Stace Vonderhaar, Seyon Nyanwleh and Colin Schwensohn; and Speaker Kevin Wendt.