By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
The Students’ Association Wednesday unanimously approved the 13-member Appropriations Committee before launching into lively debate over how much that committee should give to two multicultural groups.
Congress awarded Hispanos Unidos $2,880.23 of a $3,510.23 request by a 35-7 vote with two abstentions. Likewise, the International Students Association received $4,795 of a $4,995 request. That vote was 37-6 in favor, with one member abstaining.
The debate broke into two camps, with one side stressing it didn’t want to fall into the same financial problems as last year, and the other upset at “nickel and diming” the groups.
“We short-change them,” said Chris Kennedy, COBA representative. “They want their money’s worth and we should give them their money’s worth.”
Executive treasurer Jonathan Wilkerson remindedCongress that if all three groups that came before his committee Tuesday received their maximum requests, the Student Request Fund would have about $15,000 left, down from the opening $26,000.
The third group, the sophomore class, requested $909 for a movie matinee at the Paramount Theatre. The Appropriations Committee will vote on the request, amended to $809, Tuesday.
The class had a $1,550 budget but had already spent most of it before Wilkerson’s budget presentation at the SA retreat two weekends ago. Wilkerson said he may bring the request before Congress Wednesday.
Jud Howland, sophomore class president, said he had expected a budget of at least $2,000 when he ordered carabiners-metal clasps used for rock climbing that often double as keychains-for the entire class. The chains were given at the class’s unity devotional, held Wednesday night. The carabiners cost $1,248.
“What was only about 40 percent of our budget is now 80 percent,” Howland said.
All this money is being given out of a budget that has gone unapproved by Congress for the first time in at least three years. Each semester, Congress has traditionally approved its budget. But executive president Jeremy Smith Smith told a questioning Brandon Carter, senior class president, that such approval was not in the Constitution and that Congress was free to vote changes to the budget at any time.
No one brought any objections to the budget Wednesday.
In Wednesday’s budget debate, tempers flared when Kennedy argued that ISA should get its full request because it was requesting far less than the $7,000 its members pay to SA in student fees.
Wilkerson later told Congress to refrain from such arguments because each club and class would then be able to ask for an exorbitantly large amount of money.
“Talk to Congress if you think they should have their own students’ fee,” Wilkerson told the students.