Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Senate passes its 2002-03 budget

Associated Student Government senators passed Wednesday the 2002-03 operating budget, approving an $11,000 increase over last year’s budget and nixing a Thursday night shuttle to a Chicago bar.

The approved $87,627 operating budget allocates $22,000 to a new lawyer for students and $30,500 for a weekend shuttle to Chicago. The remaining costs include expenses such as office supplies and publicity.

A $9,500 proposal by A&O Productions Sen. Neil Shah called for funding a shuttle to Howard and Western streets, where the Mark II Lounge is located. ASG rejected the plan.

“Usually I’m the last person to encourage ASG to ask for money, but I do think there’s a need,” said Shah, a Weinberg senior. “I know there’s a lot of students who want to have a Thursday night shuttle to go to Howard and Western where there’s an IHOP and a bar called The Mark II. You can’t honestly tell me that students want to have a lawyer more than this.”

But ASG President Jordan Heinz said paying an additional $9,500 for the Thursday shuttle was not feasible.

“No doubt a lot of students would take it,” said Heinz, an Education senior. “I’m at the Deuce on Thursday nights a lot. (But) my job in this organization is to deal with the administration and there’s no way in hell they are going to let us do this.”

Some senators said that a shuttle could decrease the number of students who drive home after drinking at the bar.

“As far as the administration not OK’ing it, I think it should be brought to them,” said Greek Sen. Brian Malkerson a Weinberg junior. “It’s not encouraging (drinking) anymore than a shuttle that goes downtown. It’s not like we stop people from going to this bar. That’s not the issue. It’s providing a safe alternative for people to get there.”

The amendment failed, as did a motion to postpone the vote on the operating budget until next week, which would have allowed senators to discuss the proposal with their constituents.

Women’s Coalition Sen. Noreen Khalid said further debate on the amendment was unnecessary.

“(It) caters to a certain crowd, and the main thing the shuttle will do is to promote drinking, not stop drunk driving,” said Khalid, a Speech junior. “It’s ridiculous to bring up the drunk driving issue with the amendment.”

But Shah argued that waiting until next week to vote would show ASG’s attempt to stick up for student interests.

“It’s not like we need the money right away,” Shah said. “(Heinz’s) opposition in postponing the bill seven days shows he’s unwilling to challenge the administration.”

Some senators said the debate on the controversial budget amendment overshadowed other budgetary concerns, such as the amount of money spent on the new lawyer.

“I don’t think students realize we just spent $22,000 of their money to pay for a lawyer that’s already paid for for a full year,” said Arts Alliance Sen. Joel Richlin, a Weinberg junior. “We should have waited until the service has been proven to ask for another year.”

Senators also passed three bills at the meeting, calling for the expansion of the peer mentoring system, a truer shade of purple in the Rebecca Crown Center clock and the removal of Social Security numbers from WildCARDs.

Three news bills introduced at the meeting to be voted on next week call for:

_Ѣ an increase in the student activities fee from $99 to $120 per year

_Ѣ the creation of an online Chicago guide tailored to NU students

_Ѣ a listserv for NU community members who support the creation of a Latino studies program.

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Senate passes its 2002-03 budget