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Update on ASMSU (June 27, 2013)

The MSU administration has been working for several years with leaders of ASMSU to ensure they are aligned not only with other campus groups regarding finances and oversight but also with how student governments operate within our peer institutions.

MSU leaders are not trying to control how ASMSU spends its money; rather, the administration only wants them to abide by the same fiduciary rules as other campus groups. The MSU Board of Trustees and administration have a responsibility to ensure student tuition dollars are being properly accounted for.

Past external and internal audits reveal a history of ASMSU not following some of their own procedures. Examples include ticket reconciliation, investment policies, lack of internal controls and lack of a written account manual. These issues have continued for several years.

The administration has attempted to work with ASMSU leadership over the past two years to address its concerns about the student taxes entrusted to ASMSU. The steps ASMSU needs to take, including moving investment and bank accounts into campus accounts and complying with university business procedures, have been outlined in several memos sent to ASMSU in winter and spring 2013. Aligning ASMSU this way gives them the independence they seek and properly accounts for the money collected from students.

As of April 5, all tax dollars to be collected by the university would not be dispersed to ASMSU due to a lack of progress in addressing the issues outlined to the group’s leaders.

On June 21, the MSU Board of Trustees passed a resolution that said should ASMSU fail to move all of its off-campus investment and bank accounts into campus accounts by July 1, 2013, the board amends the student fee collection policy to remove references to ASMSU and directs the administration to develop an alternate system for the collection and disbursement of student fees to support undergraduate student programs and services.

On June 26, ASMSU called an emergency meeting to respond to the issues of compliance associated with the resolution. The group voted 12-2 to move all of its off-campus investment and bank accounts into campus accounts by the deadline. MSU leaders are pleased with the development and optimistic that the university and ASMSU are moving in the right direction.