Using its power to override other boards’ decisions, Associated Students Legislative Council voted at Wednesday night’s meeting to restore the original funding allocated to Pi Kappa Alpha’s annual Fight Night.
A.S. Finance Board approved $1,300 for PIKE’s event Monday, but after the fraternity’s representatives left the meeting, the board reduced the amount to $1,001 because of several objections related to the event’s perceived endorsement of sexual discrimination. Finding fault with Finance Board’s procedures, Leg Council passed a motion to reverse the board’s decision and give PIKE an additional $300. The council refused, however, to give additional funding to the Indian Undergraduate Student Body’s (INDUS) Culture Night because many council members said the Finance Board followed standard procedure when allotting money to the group.
On-Campus Rep Justin Pabian, who was also a proxy at the Finance Board meeting, said several board members wanted to reduce the amount given to Fight Night because they thought it would be used for extravagant items such as limousines for the “ring girls,” who act as dancers and presenters at the event. Pabian said some members also said the treatment of the ring girls promotes sexual discrimination.
Off-campus Rep Chaz Whatley said the money from A.S. would not be used for sexual discrimination because women voluntarily audition for the ring girl positions.
“If they go to the audition and they want to do it, they can,” she said. “It’s their choice. If the girls thought it was discriminating, there’d be no ring girls because nobody would audition.”
Rep-at-large Jason Everitt said the money the fraternity was requesting from Finance Board was not for renting limousines or paying ring girls, but to pay for insurance and the usage of the Thunderdome venue.
On-campus Rep Raymond Meza, however, said PIKE should not receive the extra $300 because it already has enough money from other sources.
Afterward, the council talked about the request from INDUS for additional funds to be used toward their Culture Night. Pabian said Finance Board gave INDUS $2,950 last year; this year, the group received $700.
Shamik Patel, vice chair of INDUS, said his group was desperate for money.
“We’re on the verge of not hosting the event completely,” Patel said. “We really need the money.”
The council should give the $200 remaining in Finance Board’s quarterly budget to INDUS, Off-campus Rep Maegan Sinclair said.
“We can’t really do much with $200,” Sinclair said. “It’ll help INDUS more than if it is split up for future groups.”
Rep-at-large Kristen Ditlevsen, however, said it was not Leg Council’s place to change Finance Board’s decision and the group should look elsewhere.
“No one here can give a reason why there should be more funding,” Ditlevsen said. “We shouldn’t be acting like Finance Board. It is clear they have not gone to other places. It’s not our place.”
In order to give INDUS additional funding, Leg Council would have had to pass a motion to review Finance Board’s minutes from their meeting. The motion did not pass and INDUS was not given any additional funding.