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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA reneges on funds

    Leaders of the Students in Free Enterprise left a funding meeting last week convinced they had secured over $2,000 for their club. That number was cut in half Monday night.

    Contemplating SIFE’s spring funding fate for the second time in a week, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona

    Appropriations Board voted yesterday at their weekly meeting to allot the club $1,130. The amount is nearly $1,000 less than the $2,053 promised to SIFE at the Board’s weekly meeting on April 13.

    The amount is to cover part of the club’s airfare and hotel costs as they take part in a national competition in Philadelphia, May 10. If they win nationals, they will move on to the World Cup competition in Berlin.

    SIFE is an organization based on developing student outreach programs that give back to the community.

    While the lowered funding presents an obstacle for SIFE, club officials are confident they can still fully compete, even without the full allocation.

    SIFE usually plans a relatively conservative budget, not counting on getting money from outside organizations “”so that when you do, it’s just an outside bonus,”” said SIFE Co-President Angela Crespo. “”In all honesty, we were hoping to get more, but we do understand the circumstances.””

    The circumstances began April 15 at ASUA’s weekly meeting, when the senate voted to send the approved SIFE funding amount back to the Appropriations Board for reconsideration.

    Senators cited the $1,435 already given to the club last fall as the reason for the reconsideration. The amount approved last week would have pushed the club’s total ASUA funding to almost $3,500, presenting the allotment of 7 percent of the student government’s club funding to a single club.

    In a process that usually involves spending 30 seconds to approve the Board’s funding decision, the senate spent almost a half-hour discussing how best to deal with the originally approved amount last week.

    The senate was largely divided, with Sen. Jason Mighdoll, an SIFE member, taking an established stance against sending the appropriation back to the Board.

    “”First off, SIFE is not a club – it’s 18 clubs,”” Mighdoll told his ASUA colleagues, in reference to the vast array of separate projects in which the club participates.

    Sen. Bryan Baker also stood steadfast against the prospect of lowering SIFE’s funding, saying that it is not the job of the senate to decide whether the Board made the right decision, just whether it was a legal one.

    Unless ASUA bylaws or due process were broken by the Board when they allotted the money – which they were not – the senate has no business deciding that a club is not worth the funds properly given to them, Baker said.

    The senate voted 8-2 to send the funding amount back to the

    Appropriations Board.

    The senate’s approval of funding allotment is part of the ASUA checks-and-balances system, meaning the senators did nothing wrong by voting SIFE back to the Board, said Jessica Anderson, ASUA executive vice president.

    “”It’s not unusual,”” Anderson said. “”The ultimate decision on how the funding is budgeted is through the senate.””

    – Tim McDonnell contributed to this story

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