MSA Forum keeps member with anti-gay views

Jens Krogstad

A motion to remove a member of the student fees committee because of comments he made about homosexuality failed in the Minnesota Student Association Forum meeting Tuesday.

The Forum also voted on and approved stipends for its officers, as well as two pieces of the Project Lighthouse student housing initiative.

Queer Student Cultural Center representative Rita-Marie McFadden put forth the motion to remove music performance junior Lindsay Brown from the fees committee.

The objection was over an opinion piece by Brown, printed in the Oct. 10 Daily, that condemned homosexuality on biblical grounds.

In the piece, he wrote, “God hates homosexuality, and will give those who commit homosexual acts due judgment.”

Brown defended himself to the Forum, saying he was on the fees committee last year and approved increased funding for the QSCC.

The Forum rejected the motion to remove Brown on a vote of eight in favor, 29 against and four abstaining.

MSA fees committee selectors appointed Brown and others to this year’s student fees panel last week. According to MSA’s constitution, the Forum can vote to reject up to two appointees.

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly also has authority to veto up to two fees committee members. After that, the committee’s 13 members become official.

The Forum also approved two resolutions from the student housing initiative Project Lighthouse, authored by MSA Vice President Jeff Nath.

The first resolution asks the city to levy stiffer penalties for landlords who violate city codes. It also calls for the city to increase the number of exits required in a house.

Nath said current penalties are only a $100 fine for violations that are not fixed within 90 days of a citation.

“If you have an inkling of what we pay for rent, you know that is nothing,” Nath said.

He also said current laws only require one exit for a house, which is inadequate.

“We want safe, affordable housing for students in this community,” he said.

The second resolution calls for easier access to neighborhood crime reports. Nath said statistics are available on Minneapolis’ Web site, but they are hard to find. The resolution calls for police to make the numbers available for MSA’s Web site. It also says MSA should work with the Daily to put the statistics in the newspaper.

Currently, University crime reports are available to students from University police.

“If neighborhoods around campus are where the bulk of our students live, then that’s where the bulk of our crime reports should be,” he said.