Members of the Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol Club threw themselves into the appropriations crossfire of Student Congress Tuesday night.
Grant Anastas-King, the president of the club, rallied more than 30 of its members to pressure Student Congress to make no further cuts to the club’s funding.
Although the finance committee proposed allocating $6,805.24 in funds to the club last week, falling short of its $14,227.44 initial request, Anastas-King was worried that funding will be further cut due to prejudices against the club’s mission.
Paige Comparato, the speaker of Student Congress, said she encourages participation when students have concerns about their organization’s funding.
“I’m glad they’re doing this because if they’re upset we want to hear it,” she said.
Student Body Treasurer Shrija Ghosh said the bulk of the funding, which was approved at Tuesday’s meeting, will go toward supplying equipment and hosting guest speakers.
“I would imagine everyone is upset when they don’t get the money they want, but most organizations understand that we only have a certain amount of money, and with 600 organizations, it is difficult,” Ghosh said.
Anastas-King said he’s aware of the committee’s difficult job, but he did not expect to be met with hostility.
“Obviously, we understand they’re going to cut the request,” he said.
He added that the club received so much scrutiny because of its divisive nature.
“Several of the (representatives) let their personal beliefs overtake their job,” he said.
He singled out Daniel Rojas as being particularly vocal about his ideological opposition to the club’s purpose.
Rojas, an international student from Costa Rica, said his concerns are valid because he sees no educational value in the club.
“People voted for me to express my views and represent them,” he said.
Finance committee chairwoman Brittany Best said she fully supported Rojas stating his position about the club and its mission.
“I don’t fault anyone for disagreeing. If they do, it is their responsibility to bring it up,” she said.
Anastas-King said many of the committee members did not want to grant the club’s funding request because some of the money would go toward supplying ammunition.
He said this was unfounded because it is explicitly stated in the Student Code that ammunition may be purchased by student government.
He said his goal in bringing the group to the meeting was to demonstrate its large membership, and to discuss issues that were not addressed at the finance committee meeting.
Anastas-King said he just hopes to clear up any misconceptions about the club’s activities.
“It’s a very safe sport, and it’s not going away,” he said.
Contact the desk editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.