Nagel vetoes new tuition committee

Rising tuition costs have long been a concern for students at the University and throughout the country. A resolution passed at this yearâÄôs first Minnesota Student Association forum, on Sept. 16, would have put students, faculty and administrators from all the UniversityâÄôs campuses together to focus entirely on tuition oversight. After some debate, MSA President Mark Nagel vetoed the resolution last week. Mark Lewandowski , MSAâÄôs speaker of the forum, said MSA presidential vetoes usually only happen once in a given academic year. Nagel said the committee goals were already on other groupsâÄô radars and he didnâÄôt see how the tuition committee would be doing anything new. âÄúThe student representatives to the Board of Regents are particularly active in advocating for studentsâÄô tuition interests,âÄù he said. MSA At-Large Representative Ryan Kennedy , who brought the idea to the forum, said the committee was proposed because there are no groups to focus solely on tuition. Kennedy said the committee would have reviewed tuition increases and provided more student input in the tuition process. Student government, student Senate and representatives to the Board of Regents âÄúhave been there the last eight years when we have seen tuition go up 120 percent,âÄù Kennedy said. MSA Legislative Affairs Committee member Dylan Kelly supported the proposal to create a tuition committee. âÄúI didnâÄôt see it as causing any harm in any way, so it was something new to try because what we had done in the past had failed,âÄù Kelly said. Nagel placed the responsibility to tackle tuition on groups that are already in place. âÄúTo solve our problems, we need to take a more direct approach and not create a new committee or new group and push the responsibility off onto them,âÄù Nagel said. âÄúThis is the undergraduate student government,âÄù he said. âÄúIf itâÄôs not going to get done here, where is it going to get done?âÄù Ranking representative to the Board of Regents Jordan Bronston supported NagelâÄôs decision to veto. âÄúOf course [the committee is] a great idea, but when it comes down to understanding how the administration works and how decisions are made, once they explain the whys behind that, people start to say, âÄòOK, the fact of the matter is that another committee wonâÄôt be the solution to the problem,âÄô âÄù Bronston said. Nagel said although the idea of the tuition committee âÄúsounds great in principle,âÄù he thought fellow MSA members eventually understood the reasoning for his veto. Kennedy said he wonâÄôt propose to override NagelâÄôs veto and is now looking into other options that he believes will gain more support, such as tuition caps. Kennedy said he is glad he pursued the idea because it spurred more interest of tuition issues in MSA. âÄúI know that I will personally be exploring any options for stopping high tuition increases,âÄù he said, âÄúand I really hope that the rest of student government and student Senate will be with me on that.âÄù