ASG to work to provide financial support for student groups affected by university budget cut


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer.

Isabel Dobbel, ASG vice president for A-Status finances. ASG discussed how they would support student groups who lost funding when the University pared down the budget.

Amy Li and Sneha Dey

Associated Student Government announced that they will work to provide financial support for student groups that have been affected by University budget cuts during Wednesday’s senate meeting, the first of the academic year.

“The University went through lots of budget cuts in every department, and really nobody was exempt from these budget cuts,” Isabel Dobbel, ASG vice president for A-Status finances said at the meeting.

Dobbel said she was only made aware of the consequences that department budget cuts might have on student groups when some groups not officially recognized or funded by ASG reached out to Dobbel at the end of this summer. The groups, funded almost entirely by university departments, informed ASG that they were in a “bad place,” Dobbel said at the meeting.

For example, smaller student organizations are struggling to access vehicle rental service after the service was cut from university funding, Dobbel told The Daily, even though Motor Pool was free to organizations in the the past.

The Buffett Institute for Global Studies, in particular, faced major cuts, Dobel said, and a number of community organizations housed at Buffett felt the impact.

“(Community) organizations are so vital to what we do and how we stand as a university,” Dobbel said, “ASG is working very hard to support them.”

However, Dobbel assured attendees that “solutions are completely possible,” and more details will be announced next Wednesday.

In addition to pressing budget cuts, executive vice president Emily Ash told The Daily that the executive board plans to prioritize addressing issues around equitable community space for marginalized groups, course affordability and the administration’s support of sexual assault survivors.

Dean of Students Todd Adams also encouraged students to think about ways to “actively disrupt.”

“I see that as an agency you all have, particularly in the collective,” Adams said at the meeting. “Particularly this year, because we have two classes living on campus.”

This quarter is the first time senators have been elected by school instead of by residential area, as undergraduate school affiliation is a more consistently salient identity for students, Ash said.

“I’m really excited about this new senate configuration’s ability to produce more engaged senators throughout their four years on campus as well as broader representation from students we may not have heard from,” Ash told The Daily.

Elections were also held for Wild Ideas, an ASG committee which allots funds for “anything that is new or innovative” Chief of Staff Julia Shenkman said. The committee is given $25,000 to spend annually. In past years, they’ve funded a multitude of initiatives, including Blackboard Magazine, the 1776 play and the freshman musical Camp Rock.

A previous version of this article misstated the name of Northwestern’s Black student magazine. It is Blackboard Magazine. The Daily regrets the error.

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