The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 2nd

Student Congress passes decrease in printing funds bill

Student Congress met Tuesday night and debated changes to money allocated for student organizations. 

What happened?

Congress discussed new bills in need of approval and a bill reported unfavorably by the rules and judiciary committee. The bill, which decreased money allocated for printing and publicity, was discussed in the meeting and a revised version was passed with a majority plus one vote. 

Who spoke?

Rachel Augustine, a member of the finance committee, presented a bill that would lower the maximum amount of money given out for printing and publicity. The idea is that student groups will have to find other ways to advertise.

“It will force student groups to use the student calendar online,” Augustine said.

The bill would decrease maximum funding from $27 to $10, arguing that fliers are a waste of student fees and paper. Debate began over the amount and basis for the decrease. 

Sarah Hudak, chairperson for the oversight and advocacy committee, said this was an unfounded clause, and it was removed from the bill. 

Another point of contention was the sharp cut in the dollar amount. Some members, including Ben Albert, chairperson of the finance committee, felt that a gradual decrease would better achieve the desired goal. 

“I don’t know if cutting $17 all at once is the right way to do that," Albert said. "I think that cutting it incrementally would let us visit it next year."

After debate, the budget was cut to $20 and the bill passed favorably with a majority.

Why does it matter?

A decrease in the printing budget is intended to increase the use of the online calendar and save money for the finance committee to use for other funding needs. This will mean that student organizations will have to decrease their use of fliers and paper advertisements and utilize more online publicity resources. 

Hudak said fliers are more useful than the bill suggests. 

“Publicity is one of the most important things for an event," she said. "There is no point in spending money on an event if no one is going to show up."

The finance committee will oversee the implications of this bill and consider a further decrease later in the year if the bill is proven effective.

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