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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


ASUA funding for feminist conference place on hold

Rebecca Marie Sasnett

Marisa Calegari, student director of Feminists Organized to Resist, Create and Empower, right, and Claire Larkin, center, listen to possible solutions to their request for funding during the Associated Students of the niversity of Arizona Senate meeting in the Student Union Memorial Center on Wednesday. ASUA pushed its decision for FORCE’s request for funding to next week’s meeting.

A request for funding from FORCE was tabled at the ASUA Senate meeting Wednesday evening.

The tabling was a result of the senate deciding to make an amendment that would strike the South by Southwest conference from the funding request.

This occurred after Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Joey Steigerwald brought up that there are several marketing resources on campus, particularly through ASUA, that are free for Feminists Organized to Resist, Create and Empower to use.

ASUA Sen. Josh Wexler then brought up that after some research into the feminist camp, he found the camp does have a session on expanding feminist movements on campuses.

These two points caused the senate to decide that the South by Southwest conference was unnecessary due to its price and the other resources for marketing available to FORCE.

The senators proceeded to express their concerns with the reality that the feminist camp would cost over $1,000 to send each person, which is far beyond the amount given to previous requests for conference funding. ASUA Sen. Brooke Serack said that for the diversity conference, it was around $242 per person, and that another request earlier was around $250 per person.

A proposed solution to the costly nature of the feminist camp was to give enough funding for FORCE to send at least one person.

ASUA Sen. William Box then mentioned that although he enjoys funding these conferences because of their effect on campus, it is not the senate’s responsibility to do so.

The senators began to discuss the options on the table in response to Box’s comment. Among these options were to partially fund the conference by splitting the remaining cost down the middle for the senate and FORCE. Another was to simply help pay for a portion of the registration costs. During this conversation, the question of FORCE doing fundraising returned.

A few senators suggested the conference not be funded at all for the time being, and that FORCE come back at a later date with a revised budget.

Marisa Calegari, student director of FORCE, said it would require FORCE to go back to the drawing board. She said FORCE was willing to look into other, cheaper conferences, but they would be centered on women’s issues rather than a feminist-based conference.

ASUA Sen. Elena Gold asked if exploring other options would cause the Women’s Resource Center to decrease the funding it was providing.

Calegari said the funds FORCE had access to through the WRC were set aside only for conferences and that it would still have access to the amount originally given.

Calegari also told the senate FORCE had $1,000 for conferences and a miscellaneous budget that it was willing to utilize, but some of the budget was set aside for Women’s History Month.

ASUA Sen. Michael Finnegan suggested that out of respect for FORCE, the senate give it a number to work with for the time being, and that FORCE could explore its other options.

Box argued the issue with doing so was that he wanted to be aware of what he was funding. He said he didn’t want to give FORCE anything until it came back with information on what the new conference would be.

The senate decided the best option was to table the item until next week’s meeting with the request that FORCE look into its options and come back with a new proposal.


Follow Ariella Noth on Twitter.

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