The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday March 7th

The money's there: You just have to ask for it

TO THE EDITOR:

In response to the Sept. 8 editorial ""Shock Value: $5""000"" I am again disappointed in the pathetic irresponsibility of this year's editorial board. As a journalist myself" I respect and even empathize with the media's role of criticizing the established institutions of government; I would expect nothing less of our student newspaper.

But I also expect it to be done in a manner which adheres to certain standards namely that all criticism have a factual basis grounded in a thorough understanding of the issues involved and that when criticism is given" specific solutions are offered.

The editorial failed at both in its suggestion that Student Congress needs to disperse its budget more objectively and that it needs to adjust the process by which it appropriates money.

The claim that ""many more substantive student organizations have been marginalized in the funding process"" is quite frankly not true.

The one example given in the editorial was not a marginalization" but rather precisely what it was said to be: an attempt at conserving paper.

The editorial's suggestion that it is unfair for 10 percent of the semester budget be given to one of 622 groups misses the point. Congress does not work on a semester by semester schedule; we operate on an annual fiscal year.

Each February every group that wants to has an opportunity to request funding from our budget of around $450000.

The large majority of groups receive all of their funding then and have no need to request again when it is time for semester subsequent appropriations for which there is $50000 set aside for each semester.

Moreover there are only six first semester Congress cycles. Spending 10 percent during the first cycle actually puts us behind the scheduled pace.

Why? Only two groups thus far have requested funding for projects which we are allowed to fund. The funding of CSFL came at the expense of no other group.

The DTH has done its best to present to the student body that the problem is with Congress and even directed us to change our system without providing us with an alternative solution.

The reality is that we cannot appropriate money elsewhere unless other groups ask for it. I encourage other groups to do just that. There is plenty to go around you just have to ask.



Bryan Weynand

Speaker Pro Tempore

Student Congress


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