Editor’s note: This version was written following the conclusion of ASMSU’s general assembly meeting. Read the full story in Friday’s edition of The State News.
ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, faces the risk of losing student tax funding after deciding to decline passing a bill to turn the group into an official university department and transfer funds to the university financial system at the general assembly meeting Thursday night.
Martinak said although he is unsure of the timeline for the university’s reaction, he expects ASMSU’s funds to be withheld.
“I was told at a meeting that in-action will definitely lead to the freezing and withholding of tax dollars,” ASMSU President Evan Martinak said. “We have been given sort of a categorical imperative. That’s what we were told, but I don’t necessarily know what the outcome will be.”
In a memo sent to Martinak from Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Mark Haas and Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank, ASMSU was told it would lose control of student tax funds unless the bill was passed.
“Failure to complete the transfer of funds by the deadline will result in withholding of any further tax dollars until such time as the transfers are completed,” the memo sent from Haas and Maybank stated, citing the deadline of April 5.
Martinak said the situation is “uncharted territory” for the organization. Vice President for Internal Administration Denzel McCampbell had strong feelings against the move to become a university department. McCampbell said the move would take away the students’ rights and remove services the organization currently offers, such as free iClicker rentals.
ASMSU College of Music Representative K.C. Perlberg shared similar feelings with McCampbell, passionately addressing the general assembly toward how moving all funds on-campus would not benefit the students they represent, stating “I stand by the students.”
ASMSU Vice President for Governmental Affairs Dylan Miller said after to talking to other Big Ten student governments, the group realized they are one of the rare student governments that is not under university control.
Martinak is planning to see what the organization can do to work with the university.
“What we’ll do is try to represent the views of the general assembly (and) work to some kind of solution,” Martinak said. “We have been as transparent as we can during this whole process with the university and we’ll see what common ground can be met or made here.”