SFB rejects funding for College debate club

The Student Finance Board (SFB) narrowly rejected a new club budget for the College’s debate team at its meeting last Wednesday in an 8-7 vote.

The decision, reached only after an hour of tense discussion, was a blow to the team, which has been funding both in- and out-of-state competitions out-of-pocket.

Despite the team’s arguments that it enhances the College’s reputation, the board’s majority felt the group was not doing enough work or sponsoring the necessary on-campus events to deserve funding.

“They could be putting on events on campus,” Jim Gallagher, equipment center manager, said. “It’s ridiculous that they couldn’t propose one thing.”

Student Government Association (SGA) representative Brian Block said, “I think they’re an important group that deserves our support.”

Freshman representative Warren Samlin added, “They seem to be a pretty dedicated group and debate is an important aspect of any campus community.”

The debate team’s proposal to eventually sponsor a yearly debate at the College, along with arguments from the SFB minority that the team simply couldn’t sponsor campus events without board funding, did not sway the majority. The group must wait at least one semester before appearing in front of the board again.

SGA was unanimously allocated $17,299 to sponsor TCNJ Holiday, a campus-wide celebration of diverse cultural and religious holidays that, according to its official request, “provides an opportunity for campus organizations to come together, celebrate the season, make holiday crafts for local charities and de-stress generally.” The event is scheduled for Dec. 4.

In a 14-1 vote, Leadership Development Program (LDP) was granted $3,614 to sponsor a retreat, which according to LDP’s proposal, “is open to the entire student body and allows students to leave the campus setting and take time to focus on leadership and teambuilding skills.”

Ink, the College’s creative writing organization, was granted $2,867.50 to host popular contemporary poet Dean Young on Feb. 25. According to the proposal, Young will “offer a poetry reading in the New Library Auditorium, participate in a Q-and-A session and book signing and host a poetry workshop/lecture.”

Prism, the College’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy group was allocated $2,700 to host lecturer Elaine Pasqua, who according to the proposal, “will be presenting about AIDS in general; her personal experience with it, along with a frank discussion about how living with AIDS affects people’s relationships and social standings.” She will speak in room 101 of the Physics Building on Nov. 3. Prism was also unanimously granted $963 to sponsor a campus-wide AIDS Awareness Week starting Nov. 2.

The Deaf-Hearing Connection was unanimously granted $2,679 to bring Christy Smith, a deaf participant in CBS’s “Survivor” and Dave Justice, her hearing colleague, to the campus to discuss her experiences with deaf cultures around the world. The program will take place in the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall on Nov. 5.

The organization was also unanimously allocated $1,169 to bring Josh Swiller, an internationally known deaf author and lecturer. The presentation will take place Oct. 27 in the New Library Auditorium.

Unión Latina was unanimously allocated $1,790.51 to host Explosion Latina, an event that, according to the proposal, will “promote a cultural awareness of the Latino community throughout the campus.” The gala, which will include a cultural meal and DJ, is scheduled for Nov. 7 in Brower Student Center.

The Indian Student Association was unanimously allocated $719 to host a coffeehouse showcasing cultural talents Nov. 12 in the Cromwell Main Lounge.

In a 13-1-1 vote, the College Democrats were allocated $390 to host an Election Night victory party. According to its proposal, the purpose of the event is to “provide students with a traditional election night, win or lose ‘victory party.'” The event’s ultimate goal is to foster political awareness at the College. The College Democrats were also granted $236 to raise organization awareness through campus-wide advertising.

SFB, which previously had a balance of $237,881.10, allocated a total of $34,434.01.