Brittany Best, chairwoman of the finance committee, said the exact amount of money Student Congress has to distribute is still being calculated, but she estimated it to be around $150,000.
McClelland, who is also in Student Congress, said the committee’s decision to give $1,000 more to UNControllables, an anarchist group on campus, and $2,000 more to the Siren Womyn Empowerment Magazine than College Republicans was a proof of a liberal bias.
“It just seems ridiculous to us. We wanted to encourage dialogue — we wanted to encourage a marketplace of ideas,” he said.
But members of Congress said they do not consider political ideology when evaluating a budget request.
Austin Root, vice chairman of the finance committee, said the accusations are ludicrous.
He said he had concerns about the educational value of the would-be speaker Ann McElhinney, an Irish journalist who produced the documentary FrackNation.
Root said McElhinney was not as well-qualified as the other speaker, Katie Pavlich, who is an editor for the conservative magazine Townhall and a best-selling author.
Conor Winters, a member of the finance committee, said the College Republicans are going through the same process as every other group.
“The point of this is that we can’t fund every group in full and we rarely do.”
Winters said funds are not supposed to be distributed based on ideologies.
Root said the committee also looks at the impact the money will have on the group.
“College Republicans are well established and not having one speaker won’t work to their detriment,” he said.
Root said individual requests are not compared to one another, but one of the reasons UNControllables received more was because the organization was new and it needs money to survive.
Connor Brady, speaker of Student Congress and a non-voting member of the finance committee, said he does not see this action as discrimination.
Brady said all student organizations go into the process with the expectation of their request being cut.
McClelland said if UNC’s Young Democrats — who have not yet submitted a budget request — receive a larger budget, the committee’s liberal bias will be undeniable.
“I don’t like just screaming discrimination, but we’re seeing a pattern,” McClelland said.