By Claire Matthews-Lingen
ASWU President Jack Wellman reported that he has put together two student task forces: one to work with faculty on the general education redesign and one to work on a new meal plan option. The Student Budget Advisory Committee, chaired by President Wellman, will be working closely with administrators to review Willamette’s budget plans for next year. They will also be working to set up a student forum on the budget.
ASWU Senator Kylah Clay was selected as the next Senate Pro Temp and a new ASP Senator will be joining ASWU this week.
The main focus of the ASWU meeting last Thursday night was to determine whether or not to fund a charitable event hosted by Kappa Sigma. There was lots of detailed discussion over the span of two meetings and class caucusing. The positions presented were mostly based around determining if ASWU’s precedents supported funding the event or not. Ultimately, ASWU Senate voted 14 to six against the funding request (except for $25 for advertising).
The “no” votes argued that it is against precedent to give student fees to Greek Life philanthropy and that because of limited funds left in the ASWU account, the money would be best spent on other student organizations. Also, the event will likely still happen regardless of ASWU’s ability to fund the request (Kappa Sigma did not request money last year). It may mean that less money will be donated to charity.
The “yes” votes argued that ASWU had funded the event two years ago and so there was no reason to reverse that precedent. They also pointed out that if ASWU’s budget wasn’t tight they would have likely funded the event, arguing that we were punishing Kappa Sigma for requesting money later in the year. This same event and problems with the funding of it have come up before, this discussion highlighted the importance of ASWU figuring out a strong precedent and possibly writing it into our bylaws so greek life organizations are clear about ASWU’s stance on philanthropy before requesting money.