MSA funding slashed by student fees subcommittee

by Erin Ghere

The Student Services Fees Committee Subcommittee recommended reducing Minnesota Student Association’s funding by $26,500 Wednesday, while raising the total student fees allocated by $700,000.
According to the subcommittee, MSA should receive $10,000 for the 2000-01 academic year. The recommendations will be passed on to the full committee for review.
Last year, MSA received $112,000 from the fees committee. However, $75,700 was earmarked for two other recipients: the Council of College Boards, a board of representatives from each college in the University, and the Diversity Events Fund.
In 1993, the fees committee asked MSA and CCB to combine their fees requests, giving committee members less work. Council funding was to flow through MSA.
For several years the system worked fine, but problems then arose.
The main problem was an “unclear definition as to the role MSA was to play,” said Julien Kubesh, chairman of the subcommittee overseeing MSA funding. Kubesh is also a Minnesota Daily board member.
After MSA took nearly two months to give CCB its funding this year, the fees committee once again asked for separate requests.
This year, CCB was recommended for $35,700 — the same as last year — plus additional funds.
“The fees committee felt the (Diversity Events Fund) grants should be placed under the auspice of the CCB, and the CCB concurred,” Kubesh said.
As a result, the group was recommended to receive the additional $40,000 — funds that have been traditionally given to MSA. Therefore, Kubesh explained, the recommendation for MSA is only $26,500 less than last year.
The subcommittee’s report said, “We are … concerned with the amount of money that MSA has on hand.”
“There is almost enough cash on hand to cover their entire budget for a year,” it continued.
Five organizations are recommended for increased funding: The Minnesota Daily, CCB, Council of Graduate Students, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and Coffman Union, which is recommended for more funding to repay bonds for its renovation.
Crisis Point, a theater group, and Habitat for Humanity are not recommended to receive funding. This is the first year Habitat applied for money from the fees committee.
There are three public hearings scheduled for groups to dispute the recommendations: March 1 at 3 p.m. in 313 Murphy Hall; March 2 at 11 a.m. in the Northstar Ballroom in the St. Paul Student Center; and March 3 at 10:10 a.m. in 10 Blegen Hall.

Erin Ghere welcomes comments at [email protected]