Conflict Arises Over Denial of A.S. Funds

The Associated Students Legislative Council addressed students’ upset about its decision to deny the Student of Color Conference funding during last night’s weekly meeting.

Numerous SOCC and Student Commission on Racial Equality supporters filled the UCen’s Flying A room to voice discontent with the previous week’s outcome. Several students approached the podium during the public forum and argued that the council ignored the student body’s interests.

Additionally, one speaker placed responsibility for the council’s decision on Internal Vice President Chloe Stryker due to her tie-breaking vote. Although Stryker said she supports the SOCC, she does not believe A.S.’s special projects budget should finance the conference.

Stryker said she offered to dedicate $600 from her office’s funds toward the conference but did not receive a request from the group until Wednesday morning.

Representative-at-Large Nathan Walter said the council’s debate focused on the appropriateness of using the special projects budget rather than the SOCC’s goals.

Walter asked student attendees for input to help prove the council’s support after hearing numerous speakers.

“Would you like it if we make a public statement of support, perhaps published in the Nexus — hopefully, if the Nexus will run it — would that make be a sufficient show of support?” Walter said.

However, SOCC speakers said a public statement would only serve as an appeasement.

Representative-at-Large Sophia Armen, who chose to address the council as a student body member, said the student government’s endorsement for such events is vital for the campus community.

“Support folks that do good shit! Students of color are disproportionately marginalized [and] they have to go through so much every day,” Armen said. “Being in this room, sitting at this table is a privilege. You are no longer acting for yourself; you are acting in consideration of other people … The climate of this room is not progressing us towards making this a more inclusive association.”

In light of the council’s $145 Oct. 27 allocation toward the Campus Democrats, A.S. President Harrison Weber said the issue provokes a larger discussion on the council budget’s intended use.

“The council needs to define what [its] special projects [budget] is for,” Weber said. “It sends a mixed message that the role of special projects isn’t to fund groups, but another group was funded. Also, I think it speaks to the larger issue: we need to have more discussion outside of this council.”

The council had yet to discuss the bills and resolutions on last night’s agenda including legislation to restructure the External Vice President of Local Affairs, IVP and CAB Foundation offices as of press time.