The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 8, 1988 - Page 7
MSA avoids major
BY RYAN TUTAK
The University's Board of Regents - after hearing
many pleas from a band of disgruntled students
wanting to defund or radically change the Michigan
Student Assembly - instead voted this summer to
keep MSA and its funding essentially the same.
Students now will pay MSA $6.28 each term. Last
year the fee was $7, but students struck down part of it
-- a 75 cent allocation to the Public Interest Research
Group in Michigan - in MSA's spring elections,
y making the actual fee $6.25.
MSA PRESIDENT Michael Phillips, an LSA
senior, said the regents are hypersensitive to the Uni-
versity's rising maintenance costs but insensitive to the
0 assembly's costs.
"I didn't see students coming to public comments
'session saying 'Please tax me 12 percent more (this
year's tuition increase),"' he said. "Inflation is four
lpercent, and they gave us less than one percent. All the
organizations under us will lose money. We'll be
working under last year's budget."
Since the assembly's last elections, groups of engi-
neering students have gone to regents' public com-
ments sessions urging them to change MSA's consti-
?tution and allocate more of MSA's funds to school and
tcollege student governments. The students said MSA
misrepresents students, especially conservatives.
I Several regents themselves threatened to defund
MSA. "That whole attitude emerged when (MSA) said
they would runs ads in high school newspapers oppos-
ing our minority programs," Regent Paul Brown (D-
Petoskey) said. "I was mad. But then they backed
away from it, and we were satisfied."
ALTHOUGH THE regents voted 7-0 with one
abstention to fund MSA, they struggled to agree on a
budget. Regent Neal Nielsen (R-Brighton) wanted to
fund the bulk of MSA's fee - for the Student Legal
Services, the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, and the course
evaluation guide Advice. But he suggested MSA rely
on voluntary student support for its own activities,
which include political protests.
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor), who abstained,
wanted to defund MSA. "MSA has been an abysmal
failure the past couple of years." he said. "And I'm
disappointed that the administrationhasn't done more
to straighten it out. If it's not funded, it will learn to
shape itself up."
MSA this year will allocate $3.83 per student - a
three cent increase - to SLS, which provides free
legal advice to all students. AATU will receive 50
cents, which is no increase. Ten cents will go to
publish Advice, which was not published for fall
classes but will be for the winter term. MSA can use
the remaining $1.85 of the $6.28 at its discretion.
Separate from the $6.28 fee, the regents voted to al-
locate $1 to school and college student governments, a
50 cent increase. They also will give 35 cents to the
Michigan Collegiate Coalition, a Lansing-based group
that lobbies for student interests.
A construction worker moves a steel beam at one of many ongoing University construction
projects. A series of upgradings, annexes, and excavations have left students detouring
around ditches and dirt piles.
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