ASG receives new residential senators, discusses Wild Ideas Fund

    Executive Board members and veteran ASG members welcomed new residential senators and debated the Wild Ideas Fund at Senate on Wednesday night.

    Senators also heard from Ylda Capriccioso, the bicycle program coordinator for the city of Evanston, who presented results of a survey conducted with the public to further develop and "gauge what's working and what's not working with transit."

    "One of the objectives this year is to start working on some outreach, not with just the university, but with other community partners on how to improve awareness and education in what our community should look like as a biking community," Capriccioso said.

    The program will focus on bike lanes, awareness, safety, and education in bicycle etiquette. Students will be given the opportunity to attend transportation and parking committee meetings in Evanston in order to keep the university involved in the process.

    Along with hearing from Capriccioso and welcoming new residential senators, ASG confirmed Joji Syed as the new community relations director for events. The community relations committee did not have a previous director position, but decided to instate Syed to oversee all the events under the committee.

    "When Kevin reached out to me as director, I was really excited," Syed said. "I think I definitely have the expertise and skills with the committee. I will bring a fresh pair of eyes."

    Syed has worked on a large variety of events within the community relations committee in prior years, including the "Cats Come to Dinner program" and the "Holiday Bash" in Evanston last year.

    "I will finally be the point person for the Evanston community," Syed said. "My hope is to make everything more transparent. I want to make sure that we are there to help our students."

    The meeting moved onto new business items, starting with the Wild Ideas Fund and a motion to move the legislation to old business. The Wild Ideas Fund is a budget of $20K a year that was approved by the Senate in the spring. The funds are divided quarterly for students to use for unique ideas and events on campus without having to be a part of a student organization.

    The authors of the Wild Ideas Fund aimed to introduce the legislation to contrast the previous funding models at the University. Ideas proposed to the Wild Ideas Fund must fill certain criteria in order to be eligible for funding.

    In the original legislation, the Wild Ideas Committee had the ability to approve any proposals under $500 without the approval of Senate. Though, it stated Senate must approve proposals asking for larger monetary requests.

    However, this opened the floor to debate, as several Senators were concerned with the Wild Ideas Committee's ability to approve proposals with the request of $500.

    "We have to keep in mind what the Wild Ideas Fund is about," said ASG Senator Wendy Roldan.

    A final amendment was passed, allowing the committee to pass any request of $150 without Senate’s approval. Any requests between $150 and $500 would be presented to Senate, but not voted on. The decision to vote on requests above $500 by Senate remained intact.


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