The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday September 27th

SafeWalk gets some of its needed funding

The Student Safety and Security Committee met on Monday night to discuss the future of SafeWalk. They voted on contributing a significant sum of money to SafeWalk while they come up with a more sustainable plan for the future.
Buy Photos The Student Safety and Security Committee met on Monday night to discuss the future of SafeWalk. They voted on contributing a significant sum of money to SafeWalk while they come up with a more sustainable plan for the future.

The group had requested $20,000 from the committee to operate, but the Safety and Security Committee was bound to giving no more than $12,216.95 — a third of its available budget.

Committee member Sam Pranikoff said though the Safety and Security Committee could not give SafeWalk all of the money it requested, it was important that the committee do what it could to keep the group afloat.

“I think we’ve heard some encouraging things in terms of future funding options (for SafeWalk),” Pranikoff said. “We’re more than happy to bridge that gap.”

Student Body Treasurer Brittany Best, who is working with SafeWalk to secure outside funding, said the group plans to operate without needing to rely on the Safety and Security Committee in the future.

“If you can give us this money to get them through this year, we’re trying to make it so Safety and Security wouldn’t have to give them any money (again)” she said.

Ryan Darge, SafeWalk’s program and finance director, said the group is still looking at outside sources of funding.

“For the rest of this year, we’re still going to try to actively find funding,” he told the committee by phone.

Best declined to explain what specific plans were under consideration.

“I don’t feel comfortable totally going into what that plan is right now,” she said. “We’re still kind of hammering everything out.”

She assured the committee that progress is being made.

“We’re making moves. We’re doing this,” she said.

The group’s application said receiving $20,000 from the Safety and Security Committee would be “crucial” in filling the hole in SafeWalk’s $45,000 yearly budget. Wages for the walkers constitute 90 percent of the budget, according to the application.

David Goldberg, the one committee member to vote against the allocation, raised that the University of Texas at Austin operates a similar program with volunteer walkers.

“Why are we spending thousands of dollars on that then?” he asked.

Committee chairman Andrew Wood said the committee would work with SafeWalk to make sure the money is used responsibly.

“We’re always obsessed with them being as financially responsible as possible with the money we gave for them,” he said.

Student Congress gave SafeWalk a $25,000 grant in September, which has since run out. Best said Student Congress hopes to be at least partially reimbursed from the SSSC for the money — a decision the group will debate at its Dec. 10 meeting.

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