ASG votes to fund Dance Marathon registration fee ‘scholarships’

Jeanne Kuang, Assistant Campus Editor

Associated Student Government Senate voted unanimously Wednesday night to pass a bill that will allocate $4,000 to Dance Marathon to cover registration fees for students with financial need.

The money, which will be drawn from the ASG Senate Project Pool, will be handled by the Center for Student Involvement. CSI will examine financial need of students who request it and subsidize their $50 registration fees. Money not used for subsidies will be returned to the project pool.

The bill was introduced partially in response to results from a survey indicating that the registration cost is a top reason for students not to participate in DM. Money collected by DM from registration fees goes to the production cost of the 30-hour dance event that takes place at the end of Winter Quarter to mark the end of fundraising. This year’s fee was raised $5, to $50 overall, from last year to offset rising production costs.

The bill was introduced Wednesday and, after some debate, moved to old business to be voted on the same night. DM spokesman and ASG chief of staff David Harris, a co-author of the bill, asked for the expedited voting so the money will be available for the philanthropy before registration ends Friday.

“Financial issues shouldn’t stop you from participating in Dance Marathon,” said DM co-chair Anna Radoff, a Weinberg senior, who co-authored the bill with Harris, co-chair Josh Parish and finance co-chairs Janet Brown and John Park. 

Senate debated the bill at length before voting. During debate, senator Isaac Hasson, a Weinberg senior, introduced and later rescinded an amendment to change the allocation to $2,000 with the remaining $2,000 being matched by DM. 

ASG president Ani Ajith, a Weinberg senior and former Daily staffer, supported the bill, calling it a “bold statement about inclusion” meant to address “how accessible some of our major student experiences are here at Northwestern.” 

“We’re really enthused that Senate has made such a strong statement in favor of Dance Marathon inclusivity,” said Harris, a SESP senior, in an interview following the meeting. “We want to ensure that all students, regardless of their socioeconomic background, are able to participate in one of Northwestern’s finest traditions.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @jeannekuang