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Finance committee discusses money for 15 student groups

Fifteen UNC student organizations presented to Student Congress’s finance committee Tuesday night, competing for a limited amount of student government funds.

Out of the $140,000 available for the semester, the committee passed allotments totaling about $70,000 on to the full Student Congress, which has final approval for the money. The committee reported each allotment either favorably, which means they recommend Student Congress pass it, or without prejudice, which means the full congress will debate it again.

So far, there are a total of 77 organizations lined up to present to finance committee — for a total of $450,000 in requests for everything from costumes for dance performances to guest speakers’ flight tickets. Chairman Priyesh Krishnan said he expects even more to sign up.

“It’s first come, first consider,” Krishnan said.

He said the committee gets through as many organizations as possible until the $140,000 runs out.

The UNControllables, an anarchy exploration group on campus, originally requested $15,800 — the highest request of the night — to host a national conference on campus about social resistance.

David Joyner, the speaker of Student Congress, objected to the motion to report this request favorably. Instead, the committee reported the motion without prejudice.

Joyner said he was concerned with the small number of registered group members, 20, compared to the large amount they wanted.

“When you do the math, that’s spending a lot of money per student in the organization, when all students at the University have to pay into this fee,” he said.

“This organization does come and request thousands of dollars each year, but they themselves don’t do fundraisers.”

The second highest request of the night was from a new student organization — Carolina Association of Parliamentary Debate. They asked for around $12,400 to attend tournaments across the country.

“I’m going to view this as a child,” vice chairman Craig Amasya said before granting the organization $10,000. 

“We definitely try to give a certain amount of priority to newer organizations who don’t necessarily have the institutional structure to support themselves,” Amasya said.

He said the committee looks for organizations to eventually becoming self-sustaining after being helped out in the beginning.

“When we have organizations come back every semester asking for the same things, that’s what begins to concern me,” he said.

Since the committee must divide a small amount of money among as many organizations as possible, the committee encouraged each group to focus on internal fundraising.

In the spring of 2016, a bill signed in spring 2015 will require groups to fundraise the semester before they host an event.

“We get way too many requests,” Krishnan said. “The amount of money we have to give out doesn’t increase. So we have to make harder and harder choices.”

“We could choose to fund a few groups fully, but we would rather spread it out.”


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