Rules push USG travel issue to Oc Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game’s over. I’m outta here.t. 5

By Gus Bode

Factoid:The next USG meeting is Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Renaissance Room of the Student Center.

As a proposal to eliminate its travel fund sits in limbo, the Undergraduate Student Government is consumed with a much larger question.

“This begs the question of what is the point of student government?” said President Nate Brown in his closing remarks during the senate’s meeting Wednesday.

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Brown’s comment came after a tumultuous meeting where senators and officers sidestepped official rules of order and introduced a proposal to end travel funding that was typed as the meeting progressed.

The senate also divided into clear factions during its meeting when members mulled what the student activity fee should fund. Some said it should strictly fund events. Others said the fee that every student pays into must fund both events and Registered Student Organization.

The discussion arose after Sen. Andy Fruth announced his proposal to end allocating travel money to RSOs. Currently, the senate gives a maximum of $250 to groups when they travel to performances and competitions. The senate changed its travel funding guidelines in February to exclude conferences and workshops.

Fruth, who said he has not talked to any RSOs that would be affected by the proposal, said Thursday that he just wanted the process to be fair for all students.

“So I don’t think we should be giving travel out now until it is fair to everybody,” Fruth said. “I think our student activity fee should be for events on campus.”

Once the freshly typed proposal became an agenda item, the senate voted 20 to 6 with one abstention to eliminate the travel fund.

Then Sen. Dustin Davis used the rules that the senate attempts to closely follow against the vote. Davis, who voted ‘yes’ to the proposal, explained that he only did so to use Robert’s Rules of Order to rescind his vote and move it to the next meeting, therein infuriating some senators.

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“I’m sorry,” Davis told the senators during closing comments, “but every single one of my constituents said they wanted to keep travel, and this goes against what they want.”

Sen. Bryan McLeod was absent from Wednesday’s meeting because he had to care for his 4-year-old son, but said Thursday that he was stunned to hear how his fellow senators acted.

McLeod said that on Tuesday, he spent most of his fraternity-sponsored bake sale asking students their opinion of the travel fund. He said the senate’s actions show that they are out of touch with its constituents.

“This shows we don’t give a damn about what the students want,” said McLeod, who represents the College of Education and Human Services.

McLeod said he sees Davis’ procedural move as two weeks for him to garner the student body and support from RSOs.

“I wish I could get 1,000 people to speak in the public comment section, because they (the senators) have no option but to listen,” he said. “Maybe, if all those people said what they wanted maybe then they would understand. I want every RSO and student who thinks we should fund travel to be there.”

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