ASG approves $1.43 million in funding for 106 student groups

Students+watch+a+musical+act+at+Dillo+Day.+Mayfest+Productions%2C+the+student+group+that+puts+on+the+festival%2C+was+approved+for+%2420%2C000+in+supplemental+funding+at+Wednesday%27s+Senate+meeting.
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ASG approves $1.43 million in funding for 106 student groups

Students watch a musical act at Dillo Day. Mayfest Productions, the student group that puts on the festival, was approved for $20,000 in supplemental funding at Wednesday's Senate meeting.

Students watch a musical act at Dillo Day. Mayfest Productions, the student group that puts on the festival, was approved for $20,000 in supplemental funding at Wednesday's Senate meeting.

Students watch a musical act at Dillo Day. Mayfest Productions, the student group that puts on the festival, was approved for $20,000 in supplemental funding at Wednesday's Senate meeting.

Students watch a musical act at Dillo Day. Mayfest Productions, the student group that puts on the festival, was approved for $20,000 in supplemental funding at Wednesday's Senate meeting.

Atul Jalan, Reporter

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Associated Student Government approved $1.43 million in funding for 106 student groups after over two hours of debate during a Wednesday meeting.

The figure represents one of the largest amounts ever approved by the organization and the first to be allocated under ASG’s new funding regime that splits funding into five event-based tiers as opposed to only two. The new system better supports midsized groups and removes bureaucratic roadblocks by allowing those groups to apply into any tier during each funding cycle, said Maanas Bhatt, the vice president for student activities finances.

The package includes approximately $25,000 in supplementary funding that senators passed in response to requests from various student groups. Every group’s appeal was approved — either fully or partially — except Dance Marathon, which requested an additional $10,000 for costs associated with supplying electricity to the event.

The supplemental funding process occurs over three stages: an initial “add round” during which groups can request additional money; a “cut round,” wherein anyone can move to cut funding; and an additional “add round.”

Senators passed $20,000 in supplemental funding for Mayfest Productions — about 80 percent of all supplemental cash allocated to student groups — toward increasing the accessibility of Dillo Day.

“Increasing the production value (and accessibility) consists of getting large video monitors on the sides of the stage just like any other professional music festival so that if you are anywhere on the athletic field, you can see what’s going on on the main stage and also accessibility risers,” said Jacob Lending, Mayfest’s finance chair for this previous year.

The funding increase was approved on an 8-7 vote following a lengthy and controversial debate that sometimes verged on “hostile,” as characterized by Matthew Wylie, the speaker of the senate.

Much of the dispute centered on the size of the increase, which would raise Mayfest’s funding from the student activities fund by about seven percent. Mayfest’s initial ask of $50,000 in additional funding would have increased their total ASG allocation by 17 percent.

Bhatt said the percent increase would be more acceptable if Dillo Day were a tier five event, which are already targeted for up to 15 percent in additional funding every year given their small funding cap of $500. Mayfest, Bhatt said, already receives about 20 percent of the entire student activities fund.

“Any money that wouldn’t be going to Mayfest, or any money that we have in general, would fall under this umbrella of funds that would be exclusively used for those accommodations for any group,” Bhatt said. “In saving this money, we’re able to open up this pool to more groups on campus that need that money.”

Mayfest representatives responded that more students attend Dillo Day than any other event on campus — 87 percent of the student population takes part in the festival, said Juan Zuniga, a member of both ASG and Mayfest.

Mayfest received multiple requests to accommodate students with extenuating circumstances, the representatives explained: students in wheelchairs, sprained legs, movement-restricting casts and various other conditions and injuries.

“The senate pool, it’s meant to be used,” Zuniga said. “We can simply sit on the senate pool for the rest of the year and not add or cut any funds, but right now, we have a really tangible thing that can make a big event that 87 percent of students attend more accessible. It’s something that’s very tangible, it’s something that you have the power to create.”

Email: atuljalan2022@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @jalan_atul

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