At last night’s meeting, the Michigan Student Assembly approved a resolution to enact its fall 2009 budget, officially starting all MSA activities for the semester.

Expenditures and reserves for the coming period total $333,274.50. That figure reduces the budget by $13,437.50 from Winter 2009 and $34,530.60 from Fall 2008.

MSA Treasurer Vishal Bajaj said student organizations funded by MSA will not be affected by the funding changes. The Budget Priority Committee and the Community Service Commission, which allocate money to student groups, have the same budget they had last year.

However, cuts were made in other commissions and committees because in the past MSA had gone beyond the spending its code allowed.

“We were bringing everything back to the levels that they were supposed to be at cause it just wasn’t lawful to our code anymore,” Bajaj said.

A handful of MSA committees and commissions were not allocated any money in this budget. In the past two budgets, each committee and commission was allocated at least a small amount.

“The committees or commissions that have zero funding didn’t apply for a budget,” Bajaj said.

These groups will be inactive this semester, Bajaj said.

Among the most notable of the unfunded groups is the North Campus Affairs Commission, which received $5,775 last winter and the Disability Issues Committee, which received $475 last winter.


Sonya Suter, a student representative from Zimride, a newly launched ride-sharing website, explained the goals of the website and its benefits to University students.

Zimride, which was launched for college students in late July, allows users to create a profile and post their desired destinations. The website will match passengers with a driver going to the same destination or going through the passenger’s destination.

“Their goal is to branch out and create social networks for ride-sharing in various communities across the country,” Suter said.

The website makes it easier for students to coordinate carpooling, which can save money and is better for the environment, Suter said.

Registration for the University of Michigan network of the Zimride website requires a University e-mail address.

Zimride has partnered with the Athletic Department to encourage students to use the website to find rides to away athletic events.

Suter emphasized that keeping the ride connections within the Michigan community helps ensure the safety of its users. Users have the option of hiding the exact address of their destinations from others as well.

Zimride is connected to Facebook, allowing users to look for mutual friends or just generally get more information about someone before agreeing to ride with them. The company also has a partnership with Zipcar, a national car-sharing service through which users can rent cars by the hour.

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