USGD passes bill supporting redistribution of $9 million to all campuses

USGD discussed and passed a bill supporting the redistribution of $9 million from the Student Services Facility Fee back to all campuses. (Connor Radnovich/DD)

USGD passed a bill Friday that supports redistributing $9 million from the Student Services Facility Fee back to all four campuses.

The $9 million, which was part of the proceeds from a $75 semester fee aimed at enhancing and maintaining student facilities, was originally allocated to Tempe field space, but the Tempe City Council declared there was no field space left to allocate.

The bill stands to make the downtown Senate’s stance clear on whether or not the money belongs solely to Tempe, since it was allocated to fund nonexistent field space.

“The big question currently is whether or not that money is Tempe’s money that can only be used on projects at the Tempe campus, or is that money available to every campus in order to enhance services across all the campuses,” Director of Finance Sam Tongue said.

President Joseph Grossman said the presidents’ council, made up of all four campus presidents and the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association, supports the original process where the money would go back to the budget and redistributed. Ultimately, whatever disbursement the student facility fee board approves would go to the presidents’ council for approval.

The Senate also resolved to eliminate USGD’s Fine Arts Committee and adopt an Ethnic Advisory Committee.

Grossman said the Fine Arts Committee came about last year and made sense due to the artistic and cultural nature of downtown.

“Not much actually came from that committee last year, though,” Grossman said. “I think there was potential, but it’s not something we can’t do from another committee.”

The newly adopted Ethnic Advisory Committee will spread cultural arts and diversity initiatives on the Downtown campus, said Cronkite School Sen. Malcolm Brinkley, who will act as committee chair.

The Senate dispersed a total of $4,579.50 to the Exercise and Wellness Organization after confusion and debate on the original funding request.

The request originally stood at $5,632.50: $700 to be put toward t-shirts for the organization and $4,932.50 toward sending 100 students to the Spartan Race 2013, including transportation, registration and t-shirts.

USGD’s funding guidelines prevent a distribution higher than $1,800 for conferences or events, but Matt Vossler, Exercise and Wellness Organization fundraising chair, said the request covered the five organizations hosting the event and was pooled together to save time and effort.

After suspending parliamentary rules for five minutes for discussion, the Senate decided to split the request in two, and quickly approved the $700 for general T-shirts.

The second request for $4,952.50 was amended down and approved at $3,879.50. This lowered amount was a result of the Senate approving to provide $26 of the $66 registration cost, rather than the $33 per person requested. Insurance and travel were also included in the approved amount, while Spartan Race t-shirts were not.

The College Council of Nursing Students and the Student Nurses Association were each approved $1,800 to send students to the National Student Nurses Association Midyear Career Planning Conference in California.

The Senior Year Experience Council was approved $2,355 to host an etiquette training dinner at the Hyatt on Nov. 15 for downtown students.

The Parks and Recreation Student Association received $1,800 to send members to an expo in Anaheim, Calif., an amended amount from their requested $2,320.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists was approved $895.19 for events and catering.

The Spanish Language & Cultures Club received $280 for a Dia de los Muertos event on Oct. 27th and the Arizona Humanities Festival on Nov. 3.

The Barrett Leadership and Service Team Downtown received $121.20 for their Cook for Ronald McDonald House event on Nov. 5 and 6.

The remaining budget for the semester stands at $28,882.40.

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Clarification: Oct. 9, 2012

This article was amended to more clearly state that the unused $9 million was not the entire sum of the $75 Student Services Facility Fee.

Correction: Oct. 10, 2012

A previous version of this article said the presidents’ council was made up of the student government presidents from all four campuses. The council is made up of those four presidents and the president of the Graduate and Professional Student Association.