Student association offers itself as an alternative to MSA

The Maroon and Gold Association’s leaders say they will be watchdogs for students.

Jens Krogstad

A group of Minnesota Student Association Forum members, claiming the association is ineffective, announced the formation of a new student group Friday.

In its first press release, the Maroon and Gold Association criticized the University’s administration for failing to address student safety and renters’ rights issues, and MSA for failing “to enact meaningful legislation to protect the beleaguered students.”

Spokesman Tony Zammit unveiled a list of 10 goals that included improving campus safety, privately funding a Gophers-only stadium and reforming the student fees process.

“The student government, MSA, has become highly polarized and is no longer effective,” Zammit said. “We plan on being a watchdog for students.”

There is some confusion among members over the association’s mission and how it will accomplish its goals.

Maroon and Gold Association member Amanda Hutchings said it was her understanding that the group’s purpose was to work with MSA and that she was concerned after reading the press release.

“The press release is a little bit different from what I envisioned,” she said. “But maybe I’m a little bit out of the loop.”

Hutchings is also on MSA President Eric Dyer’s executive board.

Zammit said the group is bipartisan and willing to work with Dyer and the University’s administration.

“I’m sure (University) President (Bob) Bruininks won’t be happy with us at first,” he said. “But we’d be more than happy to work with the administration if they want to get the ball rolling.”

Dyer said the group’s list of goals is nothing more than a list of issues on which MSA is currently working.

“It’s a lot easier to criticize than cooperate, and this is a perfect example of it,” he said. “They’re doing nothing but pointing out the obvious.”

Zammit declined to release a list of Maroon and Gold Association members Sunday.

Four members, including Zammit, who were identified are all College Republicans members.