ASG execs face first test

Jerome C. Pandell

The four Executive Board members elected last week will hit the ground running when they are sworn in at tonight’s Associated Student Government Senate meeting.

Last week’s runoff vote pushed back ASG’s agenda, crowding installment and spring funding into one meeting.

At the top of the night, Kawika Pierson, speaker of the Senate, will swear in newly elected President Rachel Lopez; Nicole Mash, executive vice president-elect; Tiffany Berry, student services vice president-elect; and Tamara Kagel, academic vice president-elect.

After the pomp and circumstance, A-status student groups will have the opportunity to appeal funding recommendations made by the Student Activities Finance Board at the April 17 meeting. But thanks to an amendment passed Winter Quarter, the Senate will have $41,375 less than they had last year to award student groups challenging the board’s findings.

With a $21 increase in the Activities Fee that student pay annually, SAFB had nearly $150,000 more than last year to pass out. Northwestern’s Board of Trustees approved the increase April 15.

SAFB experimented last year with Senate having 10 percent of the activities fee, but Former Financial Vice President Carson Kuo said the effort drew out the funding process for four weeks so it was dropped back to 5 percent this year.

“You have committees like SAFB to break down the work,” said Kuo, an Education senior.

Le’Jamiel Goodall, the current financial vice president and SAFB chairman, said the additional funds have left student groups more satisfied with SAFB’s recommendations.

But with only $44,819 for the Senate to work with, some groups looking for more money have resigned themselves to work with the amount recommended by SAFB.

Miriam Lieberman, newly elected president of Hillel Cultural Life, said the group was hoping to bring a higher profile speaker than its Winter Quarter event, TV host Ben Stein, but probably would not be able to because SAFB recommended about $25,000 less than the group requested.

“We didn’t get a significant amount less than in past years,” said Lieberman, a Weinberg sophomore. “But we asked for a larger amount to draw a larger cross-section of campus and have a broader event.”

Lieberman said less money could bring another speaker of Stein’s caliber instead of someone like TV personality Jason Alexander, who the group originally had in mind.

Laura Millendorf, outgoing director of Women’s Coalition, said her group plans to appeal to Senate for funding of a co-sponsored event with Arts Alliance and the Dolphin Show to bring comedian Margaret Cho to campus.

Since Women’s Co’s appeal comes toward the end of a long list of groups asking for more money, its strategy is to ask for co-sponsorship because that appeal comes before Senate much earlier in the night.

“Senate is able to recognize what we do for this campus a lot better than SAFB,” said Millendorf, a Weinberg junior.

The Daily’s Elaine Helm contributed to this report.