Finance Committee makes cuts as it divides up the last of its spring money
With less than $50,000 left for the semester and 18 student organizations asking for about $126,000 on Tuesday, Student Congress's finance committee was pinching pennies and making deep cuts to requested funding.
Of the groups seen, only three received all the money they requested. Most took substantial cuts.
Operation Smile, a charity that performs surgeries on cleft lips, requested $17,578 for four events. This large amount of money spurred questions and a lot of math.
Many members of finance committee said they admired the program but had concerns about the small number of students who attended the two major events.
Finance committee member Ben Labe made a motion to have the same students who attend the mission training event also attend the international student leadership conference happening the day after in the same area.
There was some indecision in the committee about funding Operation Smile, and ultimately they reported the bill without prejudice to full Student Congress, meaning the bill will go on the general orders calendar and would need to be seen next Tuesday.
Four subcommittees of Black Student Movement originally requested a total of $4,977, but after some reworking during their presentation to the committee, the total ended up at $5,596. However, Student Congress does not give more money than originally requested.
Their bill was funded at $4,790.25. Black Student Movement will also be seen next week in front of full Student Congress.
Japan Club also took a funding hit. The club asked for $668.48, mostly for the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
The committee funded the bill at $150, because they decided not to pay for the trip. Ben Albert, member of the committee, said he didn't want to pay for the trip because there was no relation to Japan Club and the festival.
JoJo Drake, member of finance committee, disagreed and said the reasoning was about the impact of the event.
Active Minds of Carolina requested $5,000 for a suicide awareness program. Travis Broadhurst, member of the finance committee, made phone calls to his connections to see if the group could receive funding from other groups like the Residence Hall Association and the Student Safety and Security Committee.
Broadhurst said the Student Safety and Security Committee has roughly $15,000 left to allocate. He motioned to fund to Active Minds Carolina at $1,000 to help in case they were unable to get funding elsewhere.
The student organization UNControllables requested money to fund a speaker, Equashia Mumin, who works in the Agora dining hall at Granville Towers and is a vocal activist in the Durham area.
In the final stage of the meeting, the vice chairperson abandoned parliamentary procedure to make sure the last two student groups were treated fairly.
Chabad Student Group, a Jewish group on campus, and the Carolina Climbing Club self-edited their requests to the absolute minimum they needed and split the remaining $11,068.65 in a manner that would benefit them both.
Craig Amasya, vice chairperson of finance committee, also made a note at the beginning of the meeting that he and Lee Beckman, student body treasurer, will be looking into changing the system currently used for requesting funds.
There are no more funds to allocate this semester if the bills are not changed in full Student Congress.
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