Despite the students’ concerns, the finance committee had only $180,000 this semester to pay for $423,000 in requests from 72 student groups. Neither group’s allotment was changed.
Madeleine Scanlon of the UNControllables, an anarchist student group, entered the meeting hoping to receive enough funding to put on a conference modeled after the National Conference on Organized Resistance.
The group requested $8,000 to cover travel costs for speakers.
“We are not going to do what we wanted to do without a minimum of $8,000,” Scanlon said.
After being met with little flexibility from the committee, Scanlon expressed concern for the future of the organization.
“We might need to rethink what the nature of what this conference is going to be,” she said.
Eric Shen, a representative for the pharmacy school’s peer mentoring program, tried to appeal the committee’s initial decision to not give his group any money.
The peer mentors are graduate students who mentor undergraduate students and help prepare them for pharmacy school. Shen said he felt his organization’s cause was worthy of at least some support.
He requested funding for social events such as trips to the bowling alley, which he said are important to break down the student-mentor barrier.
Several finance committee members defended their original decision by reminding Shen that although his organization has a fantastic goal, many of its events could be categorized as providing personal gain, which the committee is not allowed to pay for.
Shen was disappointed but later admitted his organization is not dependent on student government funds.
“If we don’t get funding, we will be fine. We hold fundraisers, and we have other means to fund this program,” Shen said. “We just thought that students being cultivated and grown would be a suitable cause for student government funding.”
Committee chairman Joshua Aristy explained why neither request was possible.
“When appeals are done, it’s to ask for more money. The problem is that since all the money has been allocated, it would mean having to take money from another group to give to the group that’s appealing,” Aristy said, “That’s a really hard judgment to make. It almost never succeeds because it implies that one group deserves it more.”
Both groups were encouraged to apply for more money next fall.