GSB bill provides funds to KURE Fest

Michaela Ramm

The Government of the Student Body passed one finance bill for KURE Fest with a vote of 32-0 and failed another on funding a United States Student Association organization club on campus 6-23 Wednesday night.

The Senate passed a bill that funds $16,060 to KURE Fest, KURE 88.5’s event that will take place in October 2015.

Samantha Wenndt, event director for KURE, said this will be the event’s sixth year in existence and the date is tentatively set for Thursday, Oct. 29 and Friday, Oct. 30.

Wenndt said local bands within the community will be featured at the event.

Sen. Danielle Nygard said she believed the event is something student fee money should be used for.

“I think this is a great event and this is something student government should be supporting,” Nygard said.

Wenndt said KURE Fest is expected to have an attendance of more than 1,200 for both days.

The senators failed a bill 6-23 that would have funded membership to join United States Student Association, an advocacy group, for $22,000.

Of that total amount, $4,000 would have been used for this semester and lasted until January 1, 2016. About $18,000 would have gone toward the 2016-17 academic year.

Sen. Jane Kersch said USSA is an advocate for affordable and accessible education.

“USSA played an essential role in introducing Pell Grant programs,” Kersch said. “This would benefit the Senate and student body as a whole.”

Evan Burger, a field associate for USSA, said the organization is working to making education more affordable and more accessible for ISU students.

“One in 4 students at ISU receives Pell Grant,” Burger said. “This program is affecting 22 percent of students. We want to increase Pell Grant funding, introduce summer Pell Grants and make it more a more permanent program.”

Kersch said the organization is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group.

Sen. Cole Button pointed out the organization supported more than just educational concerns, including the ban of tear gas in the U.S. and requirement for body cameras for cops.

“They try to put themselves in a lot more stuff than education and it seems very biased,” Button said.

Sen. Cole Staudt supported the bill because he said he thinks the USSA is doing a great thing lobbying for students to Congress.

“Why can we not commit funding for someone to lobby for us in our favor?” Staudt said. “This is not a requiring commitment. We can revisit the bill later if it’s not a good investment.”

Sen. David Moore said he believed it was not an appropriate time to vote on the bill.

“This is our last meeting of this term,” Moore said. “I guarantee a large number of our constituents are aware of what USSA is and don’t want to be a part of it.”

Moore pointed out that $4,000 is a lot of money to spend if they know students would back it.

The Senate also passed a big picture bill 32-0, which included all regular allocations for that month.

The Senate also seated five new senators, including Charlton Fabian Campbell as a GPSS senator, Dillon Snyder as senator for the College of Human Sciences, Jeff Derocher as a united residents of off-campus senator and Ebbi Joseph as a senator for Frederiksen Court.

The Senate also passed a resolution 32-3 supporting the removal of the two more than 100-year-old trees on the location of the new residence hall.

The bill states the trees should be cut down, rather than relocated.

Sen. Peter Myers pointed out that it was not feasible to relocate the trees.

Staudt agreed, saying that replanting the trees could cost up to a million dollars. He also pointed out the wood would be going to design students and therefore would not go to waste.

“Request for housing has increased 55 percent in the past 10 years,” Staudt said. “Obviously we need new residence halls. Trees have nothing to do with the well-being of students.”