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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Altered bylaw limits funded

    Senator Brent Hanson presides over yesterdays ASUA Board Appropriation Committee meeting. The committee initially met last week to address ASUA donations to events run by student organizations.
    Senator Brent Hanson presides over yesterday’s ASUA Board Appropriation Committee meeting. The committee initially met last week to address ASUA donations to events run by student organizations.

    ASUA denied $4,000 in funding for a Christian music concert due to a bylaw change by the university’s Office of the General Counsel last week concerning monetary contributions to religious organizations.

    Hosted by the UA Priority College Ministry, the concert had received ASUA support each of the last seven years.

    The modification of Article X, Section E of the ASUA bylaws states that the organization may not fund any events with an excessively political or overtly religious lean, a description that includes the concert, said Tommy Bruce, ASUA president.

    “”We are just following suit based on required policies by the university,”” he said. “”We have to follow them.””

    Said ASUA senator Amy Drapkin: “”It was out of our hands. It really was a black-and-white issue.””

    With a more specific policy in place, the resulting effects on funding other organizations will not fully be known until ASUA hears their motions for events, she added.

    “”We’re going to deal with this on a case-by-case basis,”” Drapkin said. “”We have to be careful about what we do with government funding.””

    The concert funding was originally sent to the Senate for a vote, where it was defeated.

    The denial left PCM looking elsewhere for money for the concert, scheduled for last Friday, said PCM president Tim Salomon, a psychology junior.

    “”We really didn’t have much time to respond. We had to get funding immediately,”” Salomon said. “”Luckily, we received a lot of donations from some local churches, so the concert went on as planned.””

    Salomon said he does not blame ASUA or anyone individually for the decision, but that all he wants is clarification and confirmation.

    After the original bylaw was found to be too broad and open to interpretation, ASUA decided that it would eventually have to be changed, Bruce said. The bylaw adjustment had been discussed within ASUA previously, but took priority after funding for the PCM concert went on the table. ASUA was pressed for time to interpret the bylaw change in order to set precedent for future contributions to clubs, said Jessica Anderson, ASUA executive
    vice president.

    Although he believes ASUA should review the decision, Salomon said the situation has opened his eyes to the future of PCM.

    “”I personally see this as a blessing. This can teach us how to be more independent and less dependent on ASUA,”” he said. “”This just confirms that we should be more reliable on outside sources.””

    The decision was about policy and procedure and had nothing to do with bias or prejudice, Bruce said.

    “”We would never intentionally discriminate against any religion or organization,”” he said.

    A clause in the bylaw states that funding may be given to religious events if they are open to the entire university and would benefit the UA community as a whole, criteria the PCM concert did not meet, Drapkin said.

    “”(PCM) expressed that the concert was open to those wanting to worship Jesus Christ,”” Drapkin said. “”That doesn’t include everybody and therefore would not have benefited the university.””

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