Both the St. Cloud and Minnesota State University, Mankato student senates withdrew from the Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA) Saturday, saying they do want to be involved with what they consider a now "compromised organization."

MSU student association president Mariah Haffield said in an email the groups feel "Minnesota State University Student Association" is no longer an effective body for facilitating "multi-lateral discussion," because the creation of an external radical group of MSUSA students, excluding St. Cloud State and Minnesota State Mankato student presidents, has "undermined the legitimacy of MSUSA as a democratic body".

The group was allegedly formed in private, on Facebook. The MSU and St. Cloud delegates attempted to have members of the group expelled from the student association Saturday during its fall meeting. When the effort failed, they withdrew from the group themselves.

Haffield did not immediately return calls for further comment.

Elsbeth Howe, executive director of the state student association, said the MSU and St. Cloud delegates contend that content posted on the online group's wall is both "hateful and inappropriate."

They filed two complaints against the group's members, alleging they are in breach of the association's code of conduct. Howe said the MSUSA has hired an attorney and is in the process of the investigating the allegations.

She would not comment any further on the nature of the comments or whether or not they are in any way related to Charting the Future, a major topic of discussion at the weekend's meeting. All of the group's other business is postponed until the investigation is complete. 

“These are serious allegations and we just want to get them investigated," she said. "If there is misconduct we plan on disciplining those delegates appropriately and then getting back to what we do: speaking for students." 

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Jessica here, doing some coffee-fueled reporting for the Mankato Free Press. My beat? Education, colleges, LEARNING. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments and story ideas.

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