Six remaining groups hope to gain more money in appeals after A&O funding reduction

Sara Melillo

Associated Student Government senators plan to distribute about $40,000 in remaining funds to 15 student groups at tonight’s meeting, the third and final funding hearing.

Six of the remaining groups will appeal for additional funds, including the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Women’s Coalition and Campaign of Lectures on Racial Sensitivity.

At last week’s ASG meeting, senators freed up $58,000 by reducing A&O Production’s funding. Nine student groups then divided $38,000 at that meeting, leaving $40,000 available for groups this week.

BGALA co-President Conci Nelson said her organization will request about $4,000 in additional funding at tonight’s meeting for Rainbow Week programming. The Student Activities Finance Board recommended the group receive $227 to pay its phone bill.

“There are things we can do to fund raise for programming, but if NU wants to continue having a cultural group focused around the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and allies, funding is necessary,” she said.

Nelson, a Speech freshman, said BGALA is hopeful the A&O funding reduction will increase the group’s allotment.

“Since A&O didn’t get their money, there are a lot more opportunities to get our money, which allows me to not be so worried about us as a student group,” Nelson said. “At this point, all we can do is wait to see what will happen at the ASG meeting.”

COLORS, a speaker program promoting racial sensitivity sponsored by the Greek community, will request $5,720 for additional speaker fees at tonight’s meeting. Past COLORS speakers have included actor Edward James Olmos and rapper Ice-T.

“Without the additional funding, we won’t be able to have as high-quality a winter speaker as we’re hoping for,” said April Lane, Panhellenic Association vice president for education.

Lane, a Weinberg junior, said the Greek organizations sponsoring COLORS have not actively lobbied to gain extra funds.

“We’ve encouraged fraternity and sorority senators as well as Panhellenic and IFC senators to support us, but we aren’t actively lobbying,” Lane said.

ASG spring funding hearings have run more smoothly this year than last, said Carson Kuo, ASG financial vice president.

“It’s been very professional, much better than last year,” said Kuo, an Education junior. “I think if SAFB had to come back for a third week last year, we would have dreaded it.”

Kuo said the funding debate has remained fairly civil, despite the controversy about A&O’s funding recommendations.

“I’ve been pretty pleased by the debate by student group leaders,” Kuo said. “Even though I might not have necessarily agreed with everything, I can see that there might have been valid points for the decisions.”

After senators vote to finalize funding recommendations, two new bills will be brought to the floor.

The first bill, sponsored by Lisa Zelljadt, senator for Students for Environmental and Ecological Development, calls for an Environmental Studies minor beginning Fall Quarter.

The second bill calls on NU to publish CTEC information for teaching assistants online.