Undergraduate Student Government revises funding guidelines

By Francois Gatimu

Undergraduate Student Government on Tuesday further amended its funding guidelines in response to recent funding board decisions that some senators have described as arbitrary and discriminatory.

The new amendment to the funding guidelines allows registered student organizations to appeal the amount granted by the funding board. A second amendment that would change the process of approving event funding entirely was tabled until USG’s March 21 meeting.

The organization held its third meeting of the Spring 2017 semester in the Student Center ballrooms, a venue originally chosen by USG President Jared Stern with the intention of increasing civility among members by forcing them to face one another.

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As senators reviewed funding requests from RSOs Tuesday evening, some pointed to drastic reductions on the amounts some organizations originally requested.

“There has to be a discrepancy in the guidelines,” said Kane Hudson as he motioned to increase the event funding for the National Society of Black Engineers.

The funding guidelines have been a topic of contention, directly affecting the student body whose events depend on such funding. In an effort to find a resolution, the student funding board inducted a new nominee, Senator Damaris Gonzales, a  strong vocal supporter of minority RSOs.

“I want to be part of that process because I really want to know what’s going on,” she said, pointing to allegedly unfair policies.

Of the 10 student organizations that requested funding, none received the full amount requested. Three were tabled for the governing body’s next meeting because of “funding discrepancies over requested amount,” USG Treasurer Gabi Piquini said.

With just under $40,000 to spend on activities, Piquini stressed that cuts have to be made.

“We don’t have the funds,” Piquini said. “It sucks but it’s reality.”

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The student funding board is currently under investigation by the judicial board following recent complaints about funding discrepancies. With the deadline for operational funding for next year approaching on March 1, some student leaders said RSOs are faced with the prospect of not receiving enough funds.

“There were no RSOs that had applied yet, even though the deadline is around the corner,” Senator Jessica Giaccobi said.

Staff writer Francois Gatimu can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @frankDE28.

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