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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Vote “NO” on MPIRG fee

<son, the CSA Spring Term elections – specifically, the issue of the MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) referendum – have generated a large amount of debate among students.

For the past few weeks, students have written in to The Carletonian either in support of or in opposition to giving nearly $13,000 to MPIRG for the coming year. A large number of claims have been made of which The Carletonian knows little about (such as student leaders being asked to leave MPIRG because they did not meet MPIRG’s specific style of leadership or activism), but without knowing such information, or even without having spent much time working with or involved with MPIRG, as is the case with the majority of students on campus, the decision of whether or not to pass the nearly $13,000 MPIRG referendum this year can still be addressed.

Without a doubt, MPIRG is a worthy activist organization, and in the past four years it has done some admirable things for Carleton’s campus – the creation of Dorm Wars, or the recent Detox Day, for example. MPIRG has been and, whether or not the referendum passes, will likely continue to be one of the most committed and visible activism organizations on campus.

However, MPIRG differs from other Carleton organizations in an important way – it is not run or organized solely by students. MPIRG is a state organization, and as such has headquarters in the Twin Cities. Yet, even though MPIRG can not be called a Carleton student organization, it still receives more money from students than do typical small, student-run groups, and in a different manner; where student groups that are chartered by the CSA are held accountable for funds that they request, MPIRG has no such limitations. The Carletonian believes that MPIRG should not enjoy special funding privileges, and that the nearly $13,000 a year that Carleton students pay MPIRG is a misappropriation of student funds.

Voting no on the MPIRG referendum will not only make MPIRG accountable for the money that it spends, but by doing so will also force MPIRG to become a more effective organization on campus (and to reiterate, this is not to deny the recent accomplishments that MPIRG student organizers have had). Voting yes will maintain the status quo. Given this option, voting no on MPIRG is the correct choice to make.

-The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian Editor

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