MSA Forum decides

Emily Babcock

Members of the Minnesota Student Association offered a pleasant farewell to their president, Jigar Madia, by compromising at the last forum meeting of the year Tuesday.
The student association passed a resolution that takes an official position on the student services fees lawsuit against the University’s Board of Regents. It is the third consecutive meeting where members debated over resolutions about the lawsuit.
The members agreed to back the University’s current fees system and structure.
The lawsuit, filed by five students, states the mandatory fees system is unconstitutional because students must fund organizations in which the plaintiffs do not believe. It specifically names the University YW, La Raza Student Cultural Center and The Queer Student Cultural Center.
“It was about time that the MSA took a position supporting the University’s decision to defend our current student service fee process and mandatory fee structure,” said Mike Davey, an MSA forum representative and College of Liberal Arts senior.
The student association’s stand on the lawsuit is a combination of two separate resolutions suggested at their April 28 meeting.
In order for the student services fees process to enhance the lives of students, it must be fair, democratic, and empowering to students. It must also be based on student participation and control and possess a mandatory fees structure, the resolution states.
Furthermore, should the court decide the existing fees process is unconstitutional, the resolution calls for students to be an active part in the restructuring process.
“I think its a very proactive position,” Brandon Lacy, an author of the resolution and a CLA junior, said. “It is a firm stance against phobias and isms.”
By demanding that MSA have input in all restructuring, the resolution gives the student association teeth, Lacy said.
Members have addressed the resolution many times, and MSA should not even be addressing the issue, said Sabeen Altaf, a CLA junior and a member who voted against the resolution.
Unless the resolution is vetoed by Madia, or another resolution takes its place, the next administration will present the official statement to both University President Mark Yudof and the University’s General Counsel Mark Rotenberg, Madia said.
The meeting was Madia’s last as president. Both Madia and Vice President Bridgette Murphy’s last official day of office is May 14. Nikki Kubista and Erin Ferguson will take over as president and vice president, respectively.
“Student government can do so much at the University,” Madia said. “I was honored and proud to be a part of it.”