8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 21, 2004
MSA allocates extra summer
N Mronov revokes photocopkr
ngkhtsfor LSA Student Government
By Cianna Freeman
Daily Staff Reporter
Michigan Student Assembly representatives
will keep busy this summer working on projects,
planning for a concert on campus and meeting
with the administration to plan for the fall term.
Some of the elected representatives who are
staying in Ann Arbor over the summer months
said they will continue holding MSA meetings.
The summer assembly only deals with funding
student groups and their projects, because it
cannot pass resolutions, MSA Vice President
Jenny Nathan said.
The summer assembly will be allocating up to
$37,000 dollars to student groups, Chief of Staff
Elliott Wells-Reid said. Nathan said the summer
assembly has extra money to spend because
MSA had $20,000 left over from winter term.
"We increased funding to summer assembly in
order to fund more student groups and projects
that are occurring over the summer," Nathan said.
The summer assembly will meet every two
weeks until all funding has been distributed to
the student groups, she added.
This academic year the assembly allocated
$205,348 to the Budget Priorities Committee
for student groups and $103,674 to the Com-
munity Service Commission for charity
groups, Wells-Reid added.
"I think there are some negative perceptions
of the MSA that can be altered with a greater
outreach to the students," General Counsel
Jesse Levine said. "This administration is about
inclusion and motivation for reps and non-reps
to set goals and accomplish them."
MSA passed a resolution last night to fund
$1,200 to the University of Michigan Engineer-
ing Council for a student 2004-2005 calendar
handbook. The assembly also passed a resolu-
tion to allocate $10,000 on the Voice your Vote
Commission. The commission will host Robert
Randolph and the Family Band at the Michigan
Theater in the fall.
A representative from LSA Student Govern-
ment also visited the assembly to discuss a let-
ter written to the Michigan Daily regarding
MSA and LSA-SG. The letter, written by the
LSA-SG executive board, said LSA-SG was
more effective than MSA. LSA-SG representa-
tive Andrew Yahkind said the letter did not rep-
resent the viewpoints of the entire LSA-SG.
"I feel MSA does work hard," Yahkind said.
"Many of the things (MSA) wants to accom-
plish needs us, and vice-versa," he added.
MSA President Jason Mironov said he was
not going to allow LSA-SG members to use the
MSA copier machine for free any longer
because of their unprofessional behavior.
"I extended to them the professional courtesy
of using our copier machine without charge,"
Mironov said. "I have decided to revoke the pro-
fessional courtesy of allowing them free copies."
The assembly will be allocating the funds
they save from LSA-SG not using the copier,
which amounts to a couple hundred dollars, to
student groups in the fall, Mironov added.
Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster
Harper also visited the chambers last night to
discuss the recent budget cuts and explain the
University's budget process.
Band, take the field
U' rom some
types ofpolitical support
By Alison GoI
Daily Staff Reporter
With the November election approaching, many Universi-
ty faculty and administrators may choose to donate to or
publicly endorse presidential candidates or petition drives
like the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which would ban
the race-conscious University admissions.I
But under Michigan law, certain support for and opposi-
tion to political campaigns or ballot initiatives in the name
of the University can be monitored, restricted and punished
if knowingly ignored.
With a few notable exceptions, Section 57 of the Michi-
gan Campaign Finance Act prohibits public bodies and any-
one acting for a public body from using state resources to
influence a political campaign.
In response to growing inquiry about the type and amount
of support University members and affiliates are allowed to
show during this year's election season, the administration
has sent out information laying out guidelines for appropri-7
ate behavior for campaigning.
As a misdemeanor, the harshest punishment for an indi-i
vidual knowingly disobeying Section 57 is a $1,000 fine
and one year in prison. Groups violating the law can bej
fined up to $20,000 or the amount of an improper contribu-
tion or expenditure.
No one in the University has ever been formally charged I
with violating the finance act, University spokeswoman l
Julie Peterson said.1
But the law does not apply to all the actions of a person
with ties to the University. As a private citizen, an affiliate
may donate money, write letters, or make phone calls to sup-7
port or oppose a political campaign or ballot initiative. How-j
ever, students, faculty or staff members are not allowed to I
do these things on behalf of the University or using Univer-
Under Michigan law, activities such as mass mailing
using University stationary and postage or using other
resources such as telephones, computers and copy machines
for political purposes are illegal.I
University groups are allowed to hold conferences, review 1
panel or public debates or sponsor guest speakers concern-
ing political movements, as long as proponents and oppo-
nents have equal access to such events.
Student organizations such as the College Democrats
do not use their University-provided funds toward cam-
paigning for any candidates, said LSA junior Jenny
Nathan, chair of the College Democrats. The money it
receives goes toward the group's operating costs and the
distribution of factual information. Funding for cam-
paigning comes from fundraising and private donation,
In 2000, the Michigan Student Assembly hosted a nation-
ally televised MTV "Choose or Lose" forum. Although
then-Vice President Al Gore was the only candidate to
attend the forum, Peterson said the event did not violate
state law because all presidential candidates were invited
and given the opportunity to participate.
Another exclusion to the law is that elected or appointed
public officials who have policy-making responsibilities
may publicly express their views.
Because University President Mary Sue Coleman falls
under this exemption, she "may state her views on cam-
paign-related issues in her official capacity in ways that
most members of the University community cannot," the
Therefore, it was legal for her to co-publish editorial
pieces with Michigan State University President Peter
McPherson about the ballot proposal to redirect tobacco set-
tlement funds. The letter ran in The Detroit Free Press on
Oct. 18, 2002.
One other exception to the law is the dissemination of
information and commentary by University media in the
regular course of broadcasting or publication. This
media include broadcasting stations, newspapers and
The information on campaign and election guidelines
was sent out from University Provost Paul Courant,
University General Counsel Marvin Krislov and Vice
President for Government Relations Cynthia Wilbanks
to deans, directors and chairs of departments at the
LSA senior Adam Maczik and Engineering sophomore Megan Jensen train as candidates for the
position of drum major on Elbel Field yesterday.
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