Botched finances require solutions

GAPSA’s investigation highlights a need for increased oversight.

A Minnesota Daily investigation published Aug. 6 exposed what appear to be crucial flaws in how the University of Minnesota distributes more than $1 million annually to student organizations.

That money comes in the form of student services fees, some of which are allocated to student-run groups. Millions more dollars in student fees go to administrative units, like Boynton Health Service and the Learning Abroad Center, but the potential problems with the overall fees process lie mainly among the student groups receiving fees funding.

One University student group, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, is under investigation for about $93,000 in missing funds. The student managing that money studied microbiology, the Daily reported in spring 2014, and he said this may have made him insufficiently qualified to manage GAPSA’s large budget.

Though issues like this aren’t widespread among student groups, GAPSA’s mistake exemplifies problems that could ail any student organization whose members get saddled with managing thousands of dollars that they may not know how to handle.

With most University students taking six or more credits, set to pay about $400 in student services fees each semester, it’s important that the school makes sure it has sufficient oversight of all fees-receiving groups.

One top University administrator announced plans to review the process during the summer. Results of any such examination are unclear, but we hope some change comes to the process to make sure students’ money is used equitably.