ASG Senate allocates $66k in additional funding to student organizations


Daily file photo by Esther Lim

Student group representatives appear before the Senate and request additional funding for line items not approved by the Student Activities and Finance Committee.

Pavan Acharya, Assistant Campus Editor

After more than three hours of deliberation, Associated Student Government granted all additional funding requests to 27 student groups, amounting to $66,609.27, at its Senate meeting Wednesday. 

Student group representatives appeared before the Senate and requested additional funding for line items not approved by the Student Activities and Finance Committee. Groups included the Middle Eastern North African Student Association, the Minority Association for Pre-Med Students at Northwestern and the Student Theatre Coalition.

The Senate planned to divide its original funding pool of $26,833.50 across the student organizations. However, after a lengthy debate, Speaker of the Senate and Weinberg junior Dylan Jost announced that all requests for additional funding could be granted — to the surprise of almost everyone in attendance. The Senate then voted to fully fund all requests.

ASG Vice President and SESP junior Donovan Cusick said the executive board had been working to secure the additional funding from University administration since August. The money from the administration is meant to provide funds ASG traditionally cannot supply.

According to Cusick, the ASG executive board and finance chairs started reviewing requests during the meeting to determine which could be paid for with the newly acquired money. He said once they knew it was possible to approve all requests with the funding, they were prepared to make the announcement to the Senate. 

Cusick said this year was the largest Fall Funding Senate that ASG has ever seen.

“The amount of requests that we received is just another sign that we need a bigger budget and that there is a demand for these community-building events, especially as we are on the tail end of the pandemic,” Cusick said.

The Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance received $3,000 in additional funding during the meeting. NAISA treasurer and SESP sophomore Alivia Britton said the money would go to the 2023 Spring Pow Wow event, a cultural celebration open to Native and non-Native people alike. The organization held its first annual Pow Wow earlier this year.

According to Weinberg junior and NAISA senator Noah Blaisdell, the alliance anticipates the next pow wow will host more people, so the organization asked for additional funds for food and transportation for the event.

“Last year we had about 500 people come, and we’re expecting more this year because we are going to try and include a lot of undergraduate students,” Blaisdell said.

The Senate also passed new legislation to increase student involvement in the legislative process. The Student Legislative Action Plan, authored by Weinberg senator and freshman Santiago Elizondo and Medill senator and freshman Lily Ogburn, will allow students to connect with their senators and propose legislation via a Google Form. 

The policy aims to “promote legislation-writing in the Senate” and “increase senator accountability,” according to its text. Ogburn and Elizondo will monitor the Google Form.

“The whole point of SLAP was essentially to get more student representation in the Senate by making legislation more accessible to students,” Elizondo said. “(Students) actually working with senators, it might actually promote them actually (making legislation).”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @PavanAcharya02

Related Stories:

ASG Senate passes first legislation, proposes initiative to increase student legislation involvement

Associated Student Government Senate approves additional funding for some student groups

ASG Senate introduces legislation to increase website interactivity