Democracy goes unfunded

The Student Finance Board (SFB) voted not to fund an upcoming lecture sponsored by the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) at the last meeting.

The lecture, “Bringing Democracy Alive,” would have been given by Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States.” Though the event was sponsored by several organizations and departments, such as the history department, and had the interest of many faculty members, SFB said it would not be a big enough draw. The requested funding was $10,185.20.

“Our campus isn’t a politically inclined campus and while I think that’s something we should increase, I don’t think it would be responsible to spend $10,000 to increase that,” Blair Gumnic, Student Government Association (SGA) assistant representative, said.

SFB provided zero funding for the event in an 11-0-2 vote.

The newly-formed Business Student Advisory Board presented for its upcoming Spring Forum, which would include a lecture from Vince Lombardi Jr. Since the Business Student Advisory Board is made up of different organizations within the School of Business, it does not get SFB funding. Therefore, the presentation was made through the National Association of Black Accountants, which requested $6,090.

The event would also include a barbecue, open to everyone on campus and paid for by the School of Business. Afterward, a reception is scheduled with Lombardi, who is famous for his work in politics, law and the National Football League.

“This would appeal to the entire campus, not just the business school, which is what we look for in an event,” Erica Klazmer, administrative director, said.

There was concern over the cost of the reception. SFB voted to allocate $5,890, which removed funding for the reception in a 13-0-1 vote.

The Black Student Union (BSU) requested $2,136 for its sixth annual fashion show. The show includes 40 models, seven designers and a professional photographer.

Though SFB members agreed that this is a very popular event, they questioned whether or not a professional photographer, the $300 for incidentals which would go toward anything forgotten or needed at the show, or the 200 photocopies were necessary.

“It is for a scrapbook,” Klazmer said, referring to the professional photographs, “and I think a digital camera is sufficient. It’s not a photo shoot; it’s a fashion show.”

SFB allocated $1,672, eliminating the photographer, incidentals and copies.

Vox presented for an upcoming performance by Athena Reich, a singer/songwriter who would perform as the culmination of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Because she often uses humor to discuss the sexual assault, the event would be like “having a performer and a speaker at the same time,” according to Blakeley Decktor, Vox president. $3,145 was requested and SFB fully funded the event, 14-1.

Voice of Hope gave a presentation regarding its upcoming Spring Concert, which is free and targets the campus and surrounding community.

In the past, funding from SFB was not required because the concert took place in the Spiritual Center. However, the audience has gotten too big and the location had to be changed to the Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall. $147.50 was requested. SFB fully funded the event, with one abstention.

The Women’s Center presented on Take Back the Night, an event that raises awareness about sexual assault and abuse. Take Back the Night has occurred annually for nearly 20 years.

Though $623.50 was requested, SFB unanimously decided to partially fund the event with $403.50, which included the cost of the 50 T-shirts requested for the event.