Heated remarks and impassioned debate dominated a series of budgeting decisions at the Oct. 10 Undergraduate Student Government Senate meeting.
The senate fiercely contested changes to the student government’s annual budget, the recognition of one club and funding for another. One student publication nearly lost all of its funding.
The paper “Blackworld” missed the club registration deadline this semester after three members of its executive board graduated last year without holding elections. As a result, Treasurer Brian McIlvain recommended removing their funding from the USG budget.
“Blackworld” writers, who found out about the deadline after the fact, are appealing their registration with the Student Activities office and asked the senate to retain their funding. The senate’s final vote ended in 13 in favor of funding, five against and one abstention.
Campus Recreation requested $16,515 for regularly scheduled off-campus events and intramural competitions it did not include in its initial budget. However, Vice President of Communications Mario Ferone and Vice President of Student Life Garry Lachhar proposed that the money be allocated to the Audio/Visual agency instead, to buy a stage for USG concerts and other events. The effort failed after nine senators voted in favor of the change and 10 voted against it.
The Christian Student Services club asked for $800 to fund a trip to a Sight & Sound biblical theater performance in Pennsylvania and to buy 10 bibles and food for their events. After questioning the club president Darran Riley about the expense and capacity of the event, the senate approved only $400 of their request by nine votes. Seven senators abstained from voting.
“I’m definitely going to have reevaluate what we can do with [the reduced budget],” Riley said. He also indicated that the USG had funded the club’s past trips to the Sight & Sound Theater.
The Magic: the Gathering Gathering, which the special service committee denied probationary USG recognition, appealed their recognition to the senate, accusing the committee of not taking their request seriously and ignoring “nerdier” clubs in general.
Senator Vincent Justiniano argued that the club should not receive recognition because two other clubs, Animated Perspectives and the Science Fiction Forum, play card games as part of their programs. Other senators argued the club is unique enough to warrant recognition.
“Trying to lump us together with the anime club is like clumping together ice hockey and fencing,” Ian Sutherland, the president and founder of the Magic: the Gathering Gathering, said.
The final vote was 14 in favor, three against and one abstention.
The senate approved probationary budgets in the amounts of $284.10 for The American Marking Association, $440 for the Pre-Occupational Therapy Society, $100 for the Book Club and $282.20 for the Model UN club.
The non-traditional student organization also received USG recognition.
October 11, 2013—An earlier version of this article stated that money to buy a stage was proposed for the Student Activities Board. The article has been updated to reflect that the money was proposed for the Audio/Visual agency.
October 14, 2013—The article was updated to include the proper names of the Magic: the Gathering Gathering and Animated Perspectives.