ASG heard proposals from A-status student groups such as A&O, NCDC, Mayfest and College Republicans at Wednesday’s four-hour Senate. After the Student Activities Funding Committee, (SAFC) which doles out ASG funds, recommended specific amounts to each organization, the meeting allowed student group leaders to motion for deductions or increases to their allotted amounts.
When Senate commenced, ASG President Victor Shao and Vice President Brad Stewart spoke about goals for the upcoming school year in a PowerPoint, with a central theme of “connecting Northwestern.” Shao and Stewart said, during the presentation, that they want to increase ASG’s campus-wide prestige and provide resources to bring students and communities together. Shao, Stewart, Communication junior Steven Monacelli and other Senate members discussed many small-scale and large-scale projects, from SafeRide Cash Cab to the diversity requirement petition.
Getting down to business, Speaker of the Senate Ani Ajith read a list of A-status student groups, which are in the highest possible ranking when it comes to amount of funding. Present senators voted to approve or reject the funding amendment proposals.
Several close calls required heated debate, and even re-votes in some cases. The Northwestern Community Development Corps’s (NCDC) motion for addition funding for Project Pumpkin busing rested on an argument between SAFC and NCDC over whether providing a Halloween event for children directly benefitted Northwestern students or not. The $600 motion did not pass, after a recount, but a second motion at $500 squeezed through.
After a battle over A&O funding, a solution split the honorarium they would receive from ASG into two events, instead of one “series” as in the past. One event was allocated $50,000 and a second $22,683.
According to A&O representatives, the controversial “series” funding allowed them to negotiate freely with artists, and was a sizeable part of the reason they ended up with two sell-out speakers, John Oliver and Keenan Thompson. But SAFC guidelines require oversight of student groups, and large allocations of money for more than a single event severely limit the involvement SAFC can have.
The next Senate meeting, May 16, will provide space for T-status and B-status groups to talk about funding.
For more detailed coverage and quotes, see North by Northwestern’s live blog below.