ASG allocates student group funding, announces emergency response team

Cat Zakrzewski, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government finalized supplemental funding for A-status student groups and announced the formation of a new emergency response team at Wednesday’s weekly Senate meeting.

Prior to the meeting, the student activities finance committee determined much of the supplemental funding for the A-status groups, ASG recognized student groups that receive the most funding.

The meeting lasted less than two hours, a relatively brief span compared to two years ago, when funding processes would sometimes last far after midnight or be continued at the next ASG meeting, said financial vice president Girish Pendse. The Weinberg senior attributed the speedy funding process to a decision made by ASG last year to review student groups that provided insufficient information or tiers prior to Senate.

“Every year it gets faster, and it’s great to see that trend continuing,” he said.

The Senate denied the requests of two student group leaders to add funding. For Members Only, the black student alliance, requested an additional $300 to purchase a camera that would improve the organization’s publicity. ASG denied the request following arguments from senators that FMO could rent a camera from the University Library, where any student can use a WildCARD to borrow the six cameras there.

ASG also denied a request from Northwestern Community Development Corps to increase funding for its spring speaker to $2,000 from the $1,800 amount the SAFC recommended. The request was denied because senators argued allocating additional money to an event, which experienced a decline in attendance last spring, would set a bad precedent.

“The system doesn’t work sometimes,” said NCDC co-chair Amalia Namath, a Weinberg senior. “I still appreciate their time and effort.”

The Senate did, however, decide to give an additional $100 to the Peace Project to fund the honorarium for the spring speaker event. A senator argued the Peace Project deserved increased funds following the success of the speaker event they co-sponsored with NCDC, which brought Damien Echols, a man who was released from death row after 18 years, to campus Tuesday.

Prior to the funding process during executive announcements, ASG President Victor Shao announced he and a team of students had formed Cats Care, an emergency response team that will be housed in ASG. Cats Care will initially work on Project Sandy, an initiative to bring relief to the East Coast following Superstorm Sandy.

ASG vice president Brad Stewart said Shao has worked with a team of students, many from the East Coast, to plan fundraising events for the remainder of the quarter. So far, the project has raised $500 between ASG students collecting donations at a table in Norris University Center and a pizza event hosted by Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. ASG had passed a resolution to support the victims of Sandy last week.

“A lot of Northwestern students were affected, and we wanted to go above and beyond just a resolution,” the Medill senior said.

The fundraising efforts for Sandy will continue with the ASG and Delta Upsilon fraternity co-sponsored event “One Night Stand” Friday and more events, which have yet to be finalized, after Thanksgiving break. Mike Morgan, a Weinberg junior from New York, works on the committee with Shao and said the funds will be dispersed to the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity, as well as local organizations in New Jersey and New York.

“It’s very important to me, being a Long Island resident, that we work as hard as possible,” Morgan said.