MSA responds to article

Inaccuracies in a Daily article misrepresent happenings and further damages MSA.

The Nov. 28 Minnesota Daily article “MSA executive board flouts own rules” is a disappointing article. Through its inaccuracies and slanted angle, the article misrepresents happenings and further damages the Minnesota Student Association.

There are many inaccuracies in the article. First, in Title IV, Section 2 of the MSA bylaws, it states that executive board members must receive “24 hours in advance of Emergency Meetings.” The article stated that the meeting was “secret” but the meeting was an emergency meeting which was held on Monday, Nov. 12, not Oct. 2, as stated in the article. The article also insinuates that President Olson agreed the meeting was “secret,” but that is far from the truth. We followed MSA protocol outlined in our bylaws. Our executive board meetings are always open meetings, and they will continue to be that way.

The emergency meeting was set in order to vote on the suspension of the attendance bylaw. Previously, the MSA executive board had discussed removing members based on the ambiguous bylaw and these actions were unfair to the concerned members. We wanted to make sure we were acting ethically appropriate by our members and wanted to clarify whether or not the concerned members had voting rights for the next day’s Forum. The majority of the MSA executive board decided that it is unfair for us to kick out a member of forum based on a bylaw that did not include official notification procedures and specifics about how different representation is removed. We believe we acted in the most professional and fair manner possible. There was nothing “secret” about it.

Also, according to the MSA constitution, “Should any action be found to be inconsistent with the rules of the Minnesota Student Association, the Speaker shall suspend said action until the conflict is resolved.” The speaker of MSA had the right to suspend the bylaw, but knowing that this issue was controversial we also voted among the executive board in order to be as transparent as possible. In the end, as concluded by a majority vote of the executive board, we suspended the bylaw. It was never overturned in that our decision was to withhold action regarding that bylaw, not overturn Forum’s decision. The revisions proposed by some members of the executive board and forum members will be presented at the next forum. These revisions will clarify the bylaw and thus make the policy fair for all members of the organization.

This was co-authored by the aforementioned MSA officers. Please send comments to [email protected]