Nearly every student organization that requested additional initial allocation funds received them at Tuesday night’s Student Association senate meeting.
Senators debated the initial allocations for about two hours, but eventually passed the bill by a nearly unanimous vote without the fireworks and controversy characteristic of past years. Only Sen. Logan Dobson (CCAS-U) opposed the bill, and Sen. Rob Schrotte (GSEHD) abstained.
After Tuesday’s vote, the total amount doled out for initial allocations reached $348,800, up from $227,770 last year.
SA Sen. Julie Bindelglass (CCAS-U), chair of the finance committee, said student organizations submitted requests to the finance committee for initial allocations that far surpassed the funds available in the student fee account. When the finance committee drafted the allocations bill, it tried to get the groups as much money as possible and was able to give many organizations more funds than last year, she said.
“We tried to treat orgs fairly and communicate with them openly,” said Bindelglass, a sophomore, while introducing her committee’s recommendation. “I am confident that tonight’s bill is fair and appropriate.”
Hannah Byam, general manager of WRGW, GW’s radio station, petitioned the SA for an increase in the organization’s initial allocation.
Byam, a senior, said WRGW could not afford to stay on the air without an increase.
While WRGW received an increase of $700 over last year, the organization did not receive all of the funds they asked for.
“I understand that a radio station has immense operational expenses, but we just cannot afford to fund everything we want to,” Bindelglass said. “We went line by line to say what we can fund. I wish we could do more but I am again pointing back to the two million in requests.”
Due to the increase in the student fee, many student organizations applied and received increases in their initial allocations. But organizations like the Chinese American Student Organization were not initially allocated funds.
At the meeting, CASA successfully petitioned the senate for funding and received an allocation of $1,100.
Alexander Jen, vice president of CASA, said he is happy with the increase in allocations his organization received.
“It was nice to have people listen to our comments and responding to our wishes in such a timely manner,” said Jen, a senior. “Running a large organization is very costly, and we have several shows we put on every year, so the allocation definitely helped.”
SA Sen. Michelle Tanney (CPS-G) lobbied for an increased initial allocation for the Social and Political Interest Network, but her efforts sparked debate about the allocations process.
Tanney, a graduate student, is the president of SPIN, which caused many senators to question Tanney’s right to lobby for the organization.
SA Sen. Steve Glatter (Law) said it was a conflict of interest for Tanney to speak on behalf of an organization she directs.
“I would love to give all 250 orgs a seat at the table,” Glatter said. “It is not fair that Tanney is acting on behalf of the org because she is involved in it.”
Tanney said she understood Glatter’s point.
“I was acting tonight as the senator for GPSM and as the chair of the student life committee,” Tanney said. “I feel that had I not made that amendment I don’t think anybody would have, so I think it was necessary for me as my capacity as a senator to raise the issue.”
The senate will meet again Oct. 21.