The first public University of Minnesota Student Association forum of the semester was a flurry of voting and budget discussions.
A $172,760 budget was passed quickly, but with few concerns.
The group allocated $117,860 to programming expenses, leaving $54,900 to operations.
Most of the programming money went to grant fund. The $55,000 will be dispersed throughout the year to student groups’ events and operational costs. The rest was split among other expenses, with facilities housing and transit receiving $19,500.
Some members were concerned that a new initiative to improve the bike pasture near Rapson Hall was taking too much of the facilities budget. The initiative will cost $15,000. But MSA is requesting the money from the President’s Office later this year.
MSA President Lizzy Shay said saving money isn’t in the best interest of the students.
“This past year we’ve had a $30,000 carryover, which is extremely high in proportion to our total budget,” she said.
“Saving money is not a responsible way to spend money because when the student service fees committee gives us a check they’re expecting us to use that money.”
Still left with vacant positions
Aside from multiple general positions, MSA filled six at-large representatives – double the projected number of open seats– after three reps quit over the summer. However, several important positions still remain unfilled.
With seven nominations the forum elected Kevin Nguenkam, Andie Whitaker, Jilian Koski and Dusten Retcher. Nguenkam received the most votes with a total of 21.
A tie between Tyler Hubler and Johnathon Walker and Tim Jackson forced the forum into a second round of voting. Hubler and Walker won with 25 and 17 votes respectively.
Prior to the vote, the nominees were asked how they would handle the commitment to MSA. Most said the association would be a top priority.
Jacksonwas the only nominee to say he has a busy schedule. Other candidates said MSA would be their only commitment aside from school.
Koski, a freshman majoring in biological anthropology, said she wanted to help give freshmen at the University a voice and improve freshman outreach.
She said as a freshman she had difficulty finding out how to make it to the meeting.
Walker, like Koski, said he also would like to work on student outreach, but with a wider base in mind.
Nguenkam and Hubler were also elected as fees selectors who will review applications to fill seats on the Student Services Fees Committee.
Brittany Rustad was elected to represent the organization on the Student Unions and Activities Board of Governors beating David Kraft with 24 votes.
Sharin Park filled one of the two open MSA seats on the Student Senate Consultative Committee. The other spot was left open, as well as the two positions for All Campus Elections Commission selectors.
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