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The Daily Tar Heel

Congress’ good compromise

Student Congress made wise decision in divvying up funds for Students for a Democratic Society

Students for a Democratic Society deserves to have the financial means to host speakers on campus.

But that does not mean it is free to waste student money by making unreasonable funding requests.

And Congress, recognizing this, did the right thing by cutting the requested appropriation to a more reasonable amount.

This allows SDS to have a voice on campus but prevents the wasteful spending of student fees.

SDS had originally asked Congress for $6,095to bring three speakers to campus.

All three speakers are current or former members of the SDS chapter at UNC-Asheville.

Yet SDS deemed that each speaker deserved a $2,000 honorarium.

This request was unreasonably large. First, the speakers do not have the credentials to receive such a large payment for coming to speak.

Also, the honoraria are too high given the relatively low turnout the event is planned to draw. SDS estimated in its funding request that a mere 70 to 100students would attend.

Rather than grant an exorbitant request or deny funding altogether, Congress compromised by approving a reduced appropriation of $2,095.

It is all too easy to want to deny the most radical groups on campus a voice. But if Congress has the money, then there is no reason for any group to not have an opportunity for funding .

But appropriations should be a reasonable use of the fees that all students pay.

Congress has recently had issues granting the right amount of funding. In October, it squandered $9,675in an appropriation to Carolina Students for Life to fund an abortion debate that drew 138people.

That event raised questions about the efforts student organizations are undertaking to minimize costs, especially for speakers. It also raised questions about the efforts of Congress, as an agent of the students, to responsibly appropriate money.

This time, Congress has struck a better compromise. Given who the speakers are and the size of the expected audience, $2,095 is nothing to protest about.

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