News and opinion

Jacob Osborne

I am puzzled by part of the âÄúRinehart to the rescueâÄù story in The Minnesota DailyâÄôs April 19 issue. The article addressed several issues related to allotment of money generated through student fees, but the only information that was apparently worth putting in a figure was the history of allocations to Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow and MPIRG, which presumably represent the conservative and liberal sides, respectively, of the political spectrum. I fail to see why this deserves anything more than a passing reference. By publishing that graphic, especially with the title âÄúConservative funding on the rise,âÄù the author seems to be implying that there has been a significant, alarming change in conservative funding compared to the past, implying that the same cannot be said for MPIRGâÄôs funding. Reading a little further into that title, it could be thought that the author does not approve of such a change. Looking at the data, it is clear that, yes, funding for CFACT has in fact increased. But so has funding for MPIRG. In fact, that figure could just as well be labeled âÄúFunding for political groups on the rise.âÄù If the author is trying to illustrate a perceived conflict of interest on the fees board, that speculation or accusation should be stated outright and not couched in the title of a figure. If there is evidence that conflicts of interest are involved, I have a solution: Anyone serving on the fees board should excuse themselves from any vote allotting funding to any group with which they associate. Yes, there may be ways around it, but if âÄúviewpoint neutralityâÄù is really an issue, this is one of the few ways it could be addressed in a meaningful way. I personally donâÄôt really care how much funding these groups get as long as they provided sufficient rationale for their use. I do care that the Daily is wasting valuable space in the âÄúnewsâÄù section to publish a worthless figure that has a faint smell of opinion about it. Jacob Osborne, University graduate student