MontPIRG, a liberal nonprofit organization is facing a significant financial setback. According to a report from the Daily Montanan, the organization is expected to lose approximately $50,000 in student fees in the coming year. MontPIRG has a long-standing presence on state college campuses in Montana, operating for nearly four decades. While University of Montana students voted to renew the fee that supports the organization, it has not been approved by the Board of Regents for this year.
The situation surrounding the fee approval has sparked controversy and finger-pointing. The commissioner’s office claims that the University of Montana never requested the fee to be included on the Board of Regents’ agenda. However, MontPIRG argues that this is because the commissioner’s office exerted pressure on the university, urging them not to forward the fee for approval. There are allegations of political interference, with Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian emphasizing the need for boundaries when it comes to funding political organizations using student fees.