ASG funds student groups for fall quarter


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

SESP sophomore Daniel Rodriguez speaks during a previous ASG meeting. The Executive Officer of Justice and Inclusion co-authored a bill creating a COVID-19 response task force within ASG.

Emily Sakai, Reporter

Associated Student Government finalized its fiscal allocations to student groups for Fall Quarter at Wednesday’s Senate meeting.

The Student Activities Finances Committee, led by Weinberg sophomore Paula Diaz and SESP sophomore Andy Grossman, made original funding decisions for the 86 student organizations that submitted applications. At Wednesday’s session, representatives from those organizations made a case to the Senate for more funding.

The Senate also had $17,000 in budget available for student groups, should they make a case for additional funding. Senators also had the opportunity to propose cuts to certain organizations, though none were made.

Five student organizations requested additional funds from the Senate, and four of them ultimately received some of that money.

Northwestern Political Union received the largest increase in funding, receiving an additional $1,500 for their fall speaker event to cover the cost of hosting a speaker with larger name recognition.

In addition, ASG approved an added $1,050 for the Dolphin Show’s dumpster and U-Haul expenses associated with their production. Seesaw Theatre, an organization that creates theatre for people with developmental differences, received an additional $300 for their inclusive theatre festival. Finally, BLAST, Northwestern’s Ballroom, Latin and Swing Team, requested and received $93 more in funding for the venue of its fall-themed social.

Northwestern University Dance Marathon representative Val Werner requested $8,000 for the live stream of Dance Marathon. Werner said the live stream increases “accessibility” and “encourages corporate sponsors.”

The Senate did not approve this request, maintaining the original funding decisions.

“The live stream is not essential for student experience,” Grossman said. “And that’s our main focus.”

ASG Senate also adopted a bill to create a COVID-19 Response Task Force to address both the internal handling and external response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The task force will consist of eleven members, at least two of whom will be senators. It will be led by the bill’s three co-authors, Executive Officer of Justice and Inclusion Daniel Rodriguez, Chair of Analytics Joe Maino, and Chair of Academics Campbell Schafer. Their work will continue over the summer as they coordinate with the administration and respond to student needs.

“We just want a really dedicated group of people,” Maino said, “so we can offer support to other committees in their response.”

Three confirmations also occurred at Wednesday’s Senate meeting. Rodriguez selected SESP freshman Samantha Anderson and Weinberg Freshman Vivica Lewis as Deputy EOJIs.

Weinberg sophomore Elizabeth Sperti, former parliamentarian and Political Union senator, was confirmed as next year’s Chief of Staff.

“There are some easy but incredibly important ways that ASG can increase community and accountability in this organization,” Sperti said. “ASG leadership specifically needs to not only recognize their mistakes but make changes to address them.”

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