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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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The Minnesota Daily

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Policy clarifies the use of student fees

It’s last call for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.

That’s because its Friday night social at the Campus Club in Coffman Union was the last time the group could serve alcohol purchased with money from student fees. A clarification this fall in the University’s alcohol policy states no University money, including student fees, can be used to purchase alcohol.

“Some people thought they couldn’t, and some people thought they could,” said Amelious Whyte, an Office of Student Affairs official. “You can’t use University money to buy alcohol.”

It was no secret that GAPSA purchased alcohol with fees money, said Abu Jalal, the group’s president. It told the Student Services Fees Committee about its plans to purchase alcohol when it applied for fees money, he said.

But during the last two years, no one from the administration told the group it was wrong to buy alcohol with fees funds, he said.

“I guess it just got lost,” Jalal said. “No one really told us.”

The confusion was in part because of a lack of communication between the administration and GAPSA, said June Nobbe, University student development and leadership programs director.

Many people in the administration assumed that no student groups were using fees money to purchase alcohol, she said.

There was also confusion as to whether student fees money was separate from University money, and whether the “no-alcohol” policy applied, she said.

Because the University’s budget absorbs student fees money, the policy applies, Whyte said.

Regardless, the administration is not enforcing the policy until next year.

“We don’t want to change the rules in the middle of the game,” Nobbe said.

Even though GAPSA has until the end of the year to comply with the policy, Jalal said the group will immediately stop using fees money to buy alcohol.

“If we set a bad example, then others will start doing it,” he said. “It’s important to follow University rules.”

Still, Jalal said, the GAPSA socials are an important way for graduate and professional students to socialize and learn more about the student government.

However, now that there won’t be any free alcohol at the socials, “It’s probably going to attract a different kind of crowd,” Jalal said.

He said the group has considered raising money specifically for alcohol at the socials but probably won’t do it.

“It would be hard to justify,” he said.

When graduate student Sarah Rodems entered the Campus Club, a friend handed her the announcement that there would be no more free alcohol at the GAPSA socials.

“Oh, poop,” the second-year English student said.

Bryon Kippschull, a graduate history student, said he thinks GAPSA should be able to use fees money for alcohol because its fees come solely from graduate and professional students.

“I don’t know many Ph.D. students who aren’t over 21,” he said.

Nick Potts and William Dohman, graduate architecture students, said they understand the policy but are disappointed.

“It sucks for us ’cause it’s nice to have free alcohol,” Potts said.

Dohman said alcohol helps people socialize.

“To be honest, people aren’t gonna come together over a Coke,” he said.

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