College Democrats deride SA allocations

The GW College Democrats, an award-winning chapter, received about $1,000 less than its Republican counterpart in this year’s Student Association allocation process.

In an unusually short three-hour sprint through the SA’s quarter-million dollar allocation process, about 200 organizations received funding.

“We’re dismayed,” said junior Cory Struble, communications director for the CDs. “The finance committee has made it a tradition of giving us less. On a point of principle, we should be given parity to the CRs.”

Last year, the CRs were named best chapter in the country and received approximately $1,000 more than the CDs.

At least seven times during the past 19 years, the CDs and CRs received equal funding, the most recent time occurring in 2005, according to a database analysis of SA allocations records by The Hatchet.

SA Sen. Kevin Kozlowski (U-At Large), chair of the rules committee, attempted to increase the amount slated for the CDs several times during the meeting, but the CD allocation remained at about $7,500 – the sum that was submitted to the full body by the finance committee.

“If we are not going to listen to (the CDs) concerns, there is something wrong here,” said Kozlowski, a junior. “We are going to be more disconnected from the student body.”

SA Sen. Matt Cohen (SoB-U), chair of the finance committee, said he spent more than 100 hours reviewing the 300 budget requests of student organizations with his committee to determine the amount each group needed to operate sufficiently.

“I would like to say I can please all (student organizations), but it is not a realistic thing to say,” said Cohen, a senior, during the meeting.

This year, Cohen and the finance committee increased the SA’s co-sponsorship fund by more than $20,000 to promote responsible spending among student groups. The co-sponsorship fund is a sum of money used by the SA to help student organizations finance specific events.

Despite attempts by SA senators including junior OG Oyiborhoro (CCAS-U) and graduate student Katie Santo (CCAS-G) to give more money to certain student organizations, the Senate did not give any additional money to student groups than what was initially allocated by the finance committee.

During the meeting, several senators were unable to speak because the body did not vote to give extra time to members wishing to discuss increasing funds for different organizations.

“This process is completely skewed,” Oyiborhoro said. “It is not fair to the student orgs here.”

SA Sen. J.P. Simon (SMHS), a member of the finance committee, said the Senate is limited in how much money it can give out.

“Every organization needs a lot more money than we can give them,” Simon said. “I don’t see where we have extra money.”

SA President Nicole Capp and Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger, both juniors, said the discussion about increasing the student fee must be revisited.

“There is nothing more pressing than raising the student fee,” Kroeger said. “We need to make it happen.”

Capp will be addressing the Board of Trustees later this month regarding increasing the per-credit amount.

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