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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA decries bias in choices

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona Senators overturned a decision by the Appropriations Board regarding funds for “”The Vagina Monologues”” last night, citing a bias in the Board’s original decision to deny the request.

    The controversy originated at the Appropriations Board meeting Monday. The fraternity Phi Kappa Psi received $5,000 tocoordinate an event designed to benefit American troops via care packages, while “”The Vagina Monologues”” was denied a request for $1,135 based on the board’s decision that the club’s “”methodology was inappropriate and not in line with ASUA by laws,”” according to the Appropriations Board Consent Agenda.

    “”I felt that there was a great injustice done to students in our community,”” said Jessica Samoy, director of this year’s performance of “”Monologues”” and president of the V-Day: Vagina Warriors club.

    In her address to the senators, Samoy, a theatre arts senior, said she felt the decision reflected bias in the Appropriations Board.

    “”I sat here for an hour and a half and listened as club after club was (had their request) approved,”” she said. “”I sat here and watched as appropriations board members text-messaged and laughed at the word ‘vagina.'””

    Samoy said the board’s behavior was extremely unprofessional, and by denying funding, they were not representing students who have been raped or abused.

    After Samoy received a standing ovation for her speech, several ASUA senators spoke in support of “”The Vagina Monologues,”” criticizing the Appropriations Board’s decision as biased and unjust.

    “”I respect you for standing up for your rights, and I am sorry that you had to succumb to the corruption of the executive vice president and others who don’t know what they are doing,”” said Senator Melodie Schwartz, a pre-communication sophomore. “”We are coming to the beginning of the end of our money this year, and we can’t keep funding precedence.””

    Other senators echoed their feelings on the matter and voiced their concern that the decision was discriminatory.

    “”I am disgusted by the decision on Monday not to fund ‘The Vagina Monologues,'”” said Senator Steven Gerner, a political science senior.

    “”To see your rights pushed aside is a travesty of injustice, and I am shocked and appalled. We need to make sure there is no discrimination in these decisions.””

    Through a series of motions, items that exceeded reasonable costs were voted back to the Appropriations Board for reconsideration. The list included requests like the $5,000 originally approved for Phi Kappa Psi and $2,028 originally approved to bring a speaker to campus on behalf of the La Vita House.

    “”We have a decision to make,”” Schwartz said. “”We can affect 20 students by denying funding, or run out of club funding and affect the entire campus community.””

    Members of the Senate who are simultaneously members of the Appropriations Board, including Senators David Reece and Shawn Ingram, did not comment during the discussion.

    ASUA Senators reversed the board’s decision because due process rights were violated, and “”The Vagina Monologues”” received $970.79 for production costs.

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