The Daily Northwestern

ASG: True Financial Power

Libby Nelson

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Libby NelsonThe Daily Northwestern

If you’re looking forward to Wilco at the A&O Ball next weekend – or if you’re already pre-gaming for Dillo Day – you might want give Associated Student Government a quick, grateful thought.

As a former ASG reporter for The Daily, I’ve seen most of the organization’s well-publicized faults: The elections were practically uncontested, ASG couldn’t get the administration to leave the fire doors unlocked and they might be considering a bill to get maps out of classrooms.

In one area, though, ASG wields definite and uncontestable power: deciding where your money goes.

Wednesday’s funding meeting and the follow-up meeting next Wednesday showcase ASG at its most frustrating. They’re hard to sit through, hard to write about and hard to find interesting.

But they’re also the most important meetings of the year. A crash course: ASG’s financial branch is in charge of dividing up the proceeds from the $126 fee each of us pays for activities every year.

From their pool of almost $1 million comes funding for some of NU’s biggest attractions: Dillo Day, A&O Productions’ concerts and big-name speakers.

This week and next, student group representatives, senators and anyone else who wants to testify can argue for which groups deserve the money. ASG members argue back. It’s not quite a reality show, but it’s as close as Norris University Center’s Northwestern Room ever gets.

So if you’ve complained recently about the rumor that Cake might be the Dillo Day headliner, or if you’re dying to see a group try to bring a 2008 presidential candidate to campus, ASG is your best bet.

Sit up. Listen. Read. Testify. Influence the programming on campus next year.

Then the senators can go back to debating maps and globes, and you can tune back out.