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ASSU Senate passes class funding bills, debates alcohol funding

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The 15th Undergraduate Senate held another busy meeting on Tuesday evening, with a debate about an ASSU-funded alcohol policy for student groups and discussions of new funding bills.

The Senate followed up on two bills discussed during the previous meeting ­ the appropriation of general fees reserves to create a Class President Grant Program and the appropriation of traditions funding for the classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The bills were both discussed in the previous meeting and passed unanimously on Tuesday evening.

The traditions fund will give $1,000 to the senior class, $6,070 to the class of 2015 and $5,430 to the class of 2016 ­ totaling the proposed $12,500.

In addition, the Senate passed $33,949.56 in funding bills for eight different campus groups.

The meeting also focused on several issues that the Senate hopes to tackle in the future, such as the possibility of funding alcohol for student events with ASSU funds.      The topic ­ which has already been discussed in the appropriations committee ­prompted a heated debate in an open forum that took place primarily between Hisham Al-Falih ‘16 and Ilya Mouzykantskii ‘16.

Falih felt strongly that the Senate should not support alcohol funding for student events.

“I believe the biggest issue right now is forcing 100 percent of the student population to pay for something that less than 25 percent of the population will be able to use,” said Falih.

Mouzykantskii, however, argued that there is a large contingent of student groups on campus that want to be able have alcohol funded for their events and not depend on slush funds that, according to Mouzykantskii, are fundamentally unsafe and expose the University to risk.

“The appropriations alcohol policy, if it stands…will make alcohol consumption safer, it will abide by university policy and I think it has to abide by federal, state and local guidelines as well,” said Mouzykantskii.

Senator Nikos Liodakis ‘16 cut the debate short, postponing the discussion indefinitely so that the appropriations committee, along with any other senators who are interested, can focus on creating a bill that will lead to a more organized discussion at some point.

ASSU Assistant Financial Manager Stephen Trusheim ‘13 M.S. ‘14 introduced two bills during the meeting that are designated for more overarching projects. The first of the bills requests funds for an upgrade of the ASSU office space, and the second bill requests money to study and improve ASSU operations.

The financial managers are asking for a total of $75,000 for these two projects, which would come out of the buffer funds from both the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate Student Council.

Senator John-Lancaster Finley ‘16 spoke with enthusiasm about Trusheim’s proposals, urging the rest of the Senate to vote on them the following week.

The Senate also approved Hunter Kodama ‘14 as the Elections Commissioner on the 2014 Elections Commission.

Contact Lucy Svoboda at [email protected]

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