ASG Finalizes Spring Funding Allotments To Student Organizations

Elise Foley

By Elise FoleyThe Daily Northwestern

ASG senators gave student groups a total of $902,875 to complete the spring funding process at their meeting Wednesday night.

The process began last week, when ASG gave out $8,713 more than their budget allowed to 43 student organizations, leading to cuts at this week’s meeting.

Hillel, which at last week’s meeting was given $27,775 – $25,000 more than was recommended by the Student Activities Finance Board, the group that advises ASG on how to distribute money to student groups – received a $3,600 cut Wednesday. It was the largest cut of the night.

Andrea Katz, Hillel’s vice president of internal affairs, said the group deserved the increase it was given last week because it has been successful in bringing big names to campus, such as Jeremy Piven and Sarah Silverman.

“We’ve successfully demonstrated that Hillel has the capacity to bring events to campus,” Katz, a Weinberg junior, told the Senate. “No one even delivered a speech against giving the additional $25,000 for funding. We just ask you to stand by your decision and vote ‘nay’ tonight.”

But SAFB said the group should not be disproportionately rewarded for events that other student groups helped sponsor, such as the Piven and Silverman events, which Hillel co-sponsored with A&O Productions.

“I don’t think it should receive a bigger increase than other groups,” said SAFB member Cassie Witten, a Weinberg junior. “It’s not fair to award one group a 20 percent increase and only a 7 percent increase to another group that worked just as hard in the co-sponsorship.”

Senators also cut money from For Members Only, NU’s black student alliance. The Senate voted to cut $1,863 from their spring concert budget after low attendance numbers this year.

Financial Vice President Aneesa Arshad, a SESP junior, said ASG wanted a 13 percent decrease for FMO’s funding.

“In FMO’s defense, a lot has happened between last year and this year,” said Weinberg freshman Brittany Smith, ASG’s FMO representative, citing a transition to a new executive board and rain as causes for the low turnout.

Rainbow Alliance was given an additional $1,000 last week for a fall speaker, but the money was taken away this week. Rainbow Alliance President Jessie Kaiser said the funding cut would mean a decrease in funding from year to year.

“Our attendance has remained pretty consistent, but it has increased,” the Weinberg sophomore said. “I don’t think a cut in our funding is merited.”

The Korean American Students Association lost $1,250 for a speaker, after receiving a $2,000 increase over recommendations last week.

“By giving them a $2,000 increase, we’re giving them an 80 percent increase (from last year), which is a very inappropriate raise for keeping the same attendance,” said SAFB member Maggie Jim, a Weinberg freshman.

The only group to recommend its own cut in funding was the Student Theatre Coalition. The group motioned to cut $1,000 from their budget for lighting. They received $7,900 from Senate last week, but due to a larger loan they received from Norris University Center, they decided to give some of the money back.

SAFB members argued that the entire $7,900 should be taken away from the group, but senators disagreed.

Other groups were spared funding cuts at the meeting. A motion to cut $5,463 from the budget of A&O Productions, which received the highest funding recommendation at $253,337, was not passed by the Senate.

The Daily’s Dan Fletcher contributed to this report.

Reach Elise Foley at [email protected]