GAPSA vote to remove Powell fails

Jens Krogstad

A vote to remove Graduate and Professional Student Assembly President Todd Powell was mentioned at the organization’s assembly meeting Tuesday.

Vice President for Public Affairs Todd Reubold announced he initiated a GAPSA executive board e-mail vote calling for Powell’s removal. Reubold could not be reached for comment after the meeting.

After today’s meeting, Gina Jennissen, GAPSA’s regents representative, said the vote was a result of many smaller issues building up over time and the issues had been resolved. Other GAPSA executive board members also said the vote was no longer an issue.

Reubold read a brief statement about the matter during his monthly report, which left some GAPSA members

confused. But no members asked any questions about the statement.

Some members said they were surprised to hear the news, but were not concerned about the conflict.

“I’d like a little more transparency in the process,” member Chris Pappas said. “This is the first time I’d heard there was any trouble with the leadership.”

Most executive board members, including Powell, said they felt it was an internal issue. They said because the issue did not affect GAPSA’s ability to function, it was not officially addressed at the assembly meeting.

The secret vote was made last week via e-mail, and GAPSA would not comment on the issue last week other than to acknowledge the vote took place.

“It’s not anybody’s business and we don’t really want to air out our dirty laundry,” GAPSA Vice President for Programming Karen Buhr said last week.

GAPSA also discussed the University’s proposed on-campus football stadium.

The Minnesota Student Association also met Tuesday. The MSA Forum announced progress it is making on housing safety.

A resolution supporting a plaque and memorial tree at Van Cleave Park for the three students who died in the September Dinkytown house fire passed unanimously.

“This is meant to commemorate their lives and to emphasize that they were part of a community,” Housing and Facilities Chairman Tom Zearley said.

He also announced that a University student-renter’s survey will be available at the University’s One Stop Web site, in addition to MSA’s Web site.

Zearley said he tried to model the renters’ survey after Ohio State University’s. Ohio State publishes a magazine that rates landlords and housing units, safety, quality and value.

He also said lighting is improving on 15th Avenue in Dinkytown.

The University and surrounding neighborhoods are lobbying for additional lighting when 15th Avenue gets a facelift this summer.

Zearley said the challenge is that current lighting meets city standards. Another hurdle is that properties on the street, which he said are composed mostly of landlords, would have to pay for the lights.