Review committee funding halved by GSB

Carrie Tett

The Government of the Student Body senate at its meeting this week initially refused to fund a committee it created, but it reconsidered the bill after committee members halved their request.

The GSB Senate/Inter-Residence Hall Association Special Committee on the Department of Residence asked the senate Wednesday for $1,000 to fund a survey to send to students living in residence halls and university apartments.

IRHA approved a bill at its meeting Oct. 14 to allocate $1,000 to the committee, although IRHA members indicated they would revoke or reduce that amount to match the outcome of Wednesday’s GSB bill.

GSB senators first voted the bill down 19-15, but after protest from committee members and re-evaluation of how the survey could be done, the senate agreed to bring the bill back for reconsideration.

“I was seriously disappointed with the GSB senators’ lack of confidence in the committee’s work and research to come up with the best way to do this,” Jonathon Weaver, TRA senator and committee member. Originally, the committee planned to send out about 3,500 Scantron surveys to a random sampling of students. The total of $2,000 that the committee asked for from both student governments included costs for the Scantron sheets, envelopes, postage for surveys mailed to students in USAC and the scanning process.

After the bill failed, committee members decided they could send e-mails to all or many students in residence halls and USAC, directing them to a Web page with survey questions.

With this change, Christian Edmiston, graduate, proposed an amendment to give the committee $450 rather than $1,000. The bill then passed 32-1-1.

Jason Shenton, USAC, suggested the Web site to committee members.

“Had we had [Shenton] on it from the get go, we wouldn’t have asked for the amount of money we did,” Weaver said.

Alex Olson, off campus senator and chairman of the committee, said if the committee couldn’t conduct a survey, it could not accomplish its goals.

“The main push of the committee was to have a survey, and if the senate wants to go through electronic mail, so be it,” Olson said. “Basically, the same results will come out of it if it’s done right.”

Weaver suspects IRHA will amend the funding bill it already passed.

“I definitely see IRHA funding less than the $1,000 they already agreed to,” he said. “It’s entirely possible that they will match GSB 50-50, but I see it also possible that they could do any number of other things.”