What a “No” vote means

Do you carefully read every email you receive each day? I know I don’t, especially all those listserv messages. If it weren’t for a friend mentioning it in passing, I would have missed an important one–it was just one of the 31 emails I received in my Mac account on October 27. It was this semester’s MPIRG opt-out email. I hope you saw it it. If you didn’t, or even if you did but failed to fill out the form, your consent to donate to MPIRG was assumed, and $6 of your activity fee was granted to the political organization.

MPIRG currently enjoys the privilege of a special contract with MCSG, a contract that guarantees it $12 each year from each student, via the activity fee, unless you opt out. This amounted to about $22,000 in the 2012-2013 academic year. At times, that was as much as every other cultural organization combined.

You have and likely will hear MPIRG members extoll the virtues of their organization, highlighting the good work it has done in Minnesota. I do not contest this point. However, that is not what this discussion is about, and MPIRG knows it, but MPIRG also knows that it cannot win on the facts of the matter.

On November 17, we will have the opportunity to vote in a referendum on whether or not to extend MPIRG’s contract. A No vote will mean that MPIRG will be subject to the same budgeting process and accountability as every other student organization. It means that MPIRG will not be able to take advantage of students who are unaware or happen to miss an opt-out email amongst the dozens they receive each day. I ask you to vote No on November 17, because your consent should never be assumed.

Ryan Daly
Economics | Political Science | Hispanic Studies (minor)
Macalester College Class of 2015