GSB senate allocates funds to renovations, denies funds to student groups

Tennis courts lie in a state of disrepair Thursday. GSB has allocated funding to put the tennis courts back into working condition. Photo: Logan Gaedke/Iowa State Daily

Logan Gaedke

Tennis courts lie in a state of disrepair Thursday. GSB has allocated funding to put the tennis courts back into working condition. Photo: Logan Gaedke/Iowa State Daily

Alissa Atkinson –

By Alissa Atkinson

Daily Staff Writer

The Government of the Student Body voted to allocate $25,000 to rebuilding the Towers recreational facilities Wednesday night.

The bill would originally have allocated $25,000 to rebuilding the Towers tennis courts and $23,500 to rebuilding the Towers basketball courts.

However, after each of the senators spoke with their respective constituents, they concluded that more students would benefit from tennis court renovations than renovations to the basketball courts. Consequently, the money for basketball renovations was stricken from the bill.

Inter Residence Hall Association senator Luke Roling, senior in chemical engineering, who sponsored the bill, said the ISU Tennis Club signs up for a good portion of time at the Forker tennis courts and students have to wait for hours to play.

Roling spoke with the president of the ISU Tennis Club, who said they would not move to Towers if the courts were renovated.

Campustown senator Lauren Suerth, senior in community and regional planning, said the project would attract people to the south side of campus, which would consequently attract more students to Campustown, and benefit local businesses.

The funds allow for each of the four Towers tennis courts to be repaired.

Many of the senators saw the bill as a waste of student fee money.

“We just turned away two student groups asking for $1,000 tonight,” said off-campus senator Nathan Rockman, senior in political science.

“I’d feel bad if — in the Daily, tomorrow — they saw that we gave $25,000 to this.”

GSB voted down two funding bill requests from student groups on Wednesday. The Vedic Vision Society requested $2,270.72 and the Korean Student Association requested $1,508.

Many senators responded by saying that they haven’t had a project similar to this come through all year. They said they have more than $400,000 waiting to be used.

“I don’t think anyone would be mad if we didn’t spend this money,” Rockman said. “This is wasteful and it makes us look foolish.”

After a lengthy debate, the senate barely reached a consensus; the bill passed by a vote of 15-14-0.

The senate bill Funding RideShare, sponsored by Jonathan Turk, junior in political science, passed by a vote of 21-7-0 at Wednesday’s meeting, allocating $6,000 to rebuilding the Web site.

RideShare is a program that was developed by GSB in 2006 to help students carpool to work, internships and other trips.

The Web site was designed by a student and has not functioned properly for approximately a year and a half.

Information Technology Services cannot fix the current code, but can rebuild and maintain a new and improved system for students to use.

Engineering senator Erik Hofstad, senior in aerospace engineering, said he is from Minneapolis and has never used the service.

He added he will never use the service, and students will find ways to get a ride home from someone they know.

Off-campus senator Jacob Wilson, sophomore in political science, brought up the issue of sustainability.

Wilson said he thinks RideShare would not only be a great way to save students money but would be a way for Iowa State to “go green.”

Eight members representing the Korean Student Association attended Wednesday’s meeting to answer questions in regard to its request of $1,508.

The association missed Regular and Special Allocations for fiscal year 2009.

The president of the group, Hansol Lee, junior in chemistry, said if they didn’t receive funding through GSB, the group would find it difficult to hold events.

After voting on multiple amendments to reduce the amount of the bill, which was sponsored by Tyler Albaugh, senior in mathematics, the senate denied the association any funding.

The Vedic Vision Society also missed the Regular Allocations process, and the members have been funding the group out-of-pocket. The group requested $2,270.72 for food, printing and advertising, and instrument costs.

However, the group does not yet have an office space and failed to provide the senate with an explanation of where the instruments would be stored.

While the senate debated on amendments to the bill, including cutting the cost of advertising and printing because the school year is wrapping up, members of the organization urged the senate not to think about the cost but encouraged the senate to be mindful of the benefits the group gives students.

By a vote of 16-12-0, the senate denied funding the Vedic Vision Society.

President Gregory Geoffroy addressed the senate regarding top agenda items.

“It looks right now that when we receive our appropriations we will receive an 11 percent budget cut,” Geoffroy said, which is approximately a cut of $31 million in state appropriations.

Geoffroy said the cuts are likely to affect every aspect of the university.

Although the university will be experiencing heavy budget cuts, Geoffroy said he anticipates receiving funding from the economic stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama. Geoffroy said the funds from the stimulus package will likely just be one-time funds and won’t make a big difference with the overall budget cuts, but they will help to smooth the transition into the next session.

The last two years the entering class size has been very large, Geoffroy said, and next year’s class size “looks very, very good.”

“What that means is that students and families still see the value of an Iowa State education,” he said.

Wilson asked whether there have been discussions to eliminate the amount of paper and supplies used in the required Library 160 course or an effort to make it more web-based. Geoffroy said he recently had a lunch meeting with distinguished members of the faculty senate and they questioned the value of the course, but that was the extent of the conversation.

He added the Faculty Senate would be happy to hear about suggestions from students regarding the course.

Wilson also asked if Geoffroy foresees construction projects being put on hold because of the current economic situation. Geoffroy said he isn’t aware of any projects that will be on hold and, if anything, there will be more construction starting on campus because that is one way to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

Three senators were seated at Wednesday’s meeting. Mark Lenhardt, junior in political science, was seated as an off-campus government senator; Michael Beals, junior in accounting, was seated as a business senator; and Sagar Chawla, senior in biology, was seated as an IRHA senator.

Finance Bills in GSB’s meeting


Renovating the Towers rec. facilities — $25,000

Rebuilding Rideshare ­— $6,000

Not passed

Funding Vedic Vision Society — $2,270.72

Funding Korean Student Association — $1,508