Student group funding discussion pushes ASG to midnight

Michele Corriston

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The ASG Senate granted funding requests for 15 student groups before having to adjourn its spring funding meeting around midnight Wednesday as Norris closed.

Each spring, the Student Activities Finance Committee publishes student group funding suggestions, said SAFC member Najim Yaqubie, a McCormick junior. Groups seeking more funding can appeal to Senate for access to leftover money in the amendment pool. This year, the pool contained $50,130.

“The SAFC supplies recommendations to the senate,” Yaqubie said. “It’s ultimately up to the Senate whether they agree with those recommendations or not. This funding is basically a forum for student groups to voice concerns.”

At the time of the adjournment, A&O Productions had motioned to add $72,000 to its winter speaker series.

However, this would redistribute money already granted to A&O for its Spring Ball rather than subtract money from the funding pool.

“We are not actually going to be taking money out of the Senate pool,” A&O Chairman and Weinberg junior Chase Jackson said. “It just makes a lot more sense to be booking the show first that happens first in the year.”

ASG adjourned before senators could debate or vote on the motion. Despite the interruption, ASG President Austin Young said Senate made progress.

“I think there was some really thoughtful discussion that went on,” Young said. “I think there was especially with the smaller funding overall, Senate did a nice job with trying to reapportion the leftover funds so that every group could get what best helps them this next year.”

One such smaller funding effort allowed The Protest, a quarterly left-wing magazine, to publish its own web edition. The Peace Project gained an additional $117 to fund this project despite the SAFC’s recommendation. During the debate, Yaqubie pointed out that SAFC doesn’t typically fund websites and there are no statistics as to how popularity of the site. Still, Senate passed the motion, allowing The Protest to move off of The Daily’s site onto its own domain.

“This year, we’ve made huge strides in broadening our audience and establishing the magazine as a major presence on campus,” said Protest Editor in Chief Matthew Kovac, a Medill freshman.

Established campus organizations also requested additional funds, with mixed results. Though Senate did not pass Northwestern Community Development Corps’ request for $700 more for its fall outreach day, $100 for its winter volunteer fair and $1,600 for its winter undergraduate lecture series, NCDC did successfully motion for a total addition of $9,497. Part of this increase will be used to fund ArtsFest, which occurred after SAFC applications were due this year so the board had been unable to review the event’s history and apportion funds.

This total also includes adding $1,300 to NCDC’s Project Pumpkin, an annual event that buses local children in to trick-or-treat at Norris.

NCDC executive board member and Medill senior Sara Fletcher appealed to the Senate’s sense of humor in her request.

“I would like to invoke the words of Lil Wayne,” she said. “La la la, lick like a lollipop … On October 28, little shorties are going to be up in Norris if you like it or not. Do you really want to deal with an angry mob of candy-less children armed with plastic swords?”

In a move it acknowledged as a long shot, Mayfest requested an additional $9,000 for next year’s Dillo Day to fund a second stage on the southern side of the Lakefill where lesser-known student and indies bands would perform. The motion failed.

Though SAFC members supported the idea in theory, they said giving Mayfest a 9 percent increase in funding would not be sustainable since the Senate pool only grows by about 2.9 percent each year.

“I think it’s a cool idea,” said Financial Vice President Jeremy Yablon, a Weinberg junior. “I think it should be looked into further, but I don’t think now is the time to look into it.”

Senate will resume spring funding next Wednesday.