ASPSU senate stalls SFC budget over OSPIRG

The SFC’s final budget allocation failed at yesterday’s senate meeting. OSPRIG’s student senate supporters, including Mike Arrington, were opposed to the $33, 765 allocated to the group. According to Arrington, the SFC made a fundamentally flawed decision .

He presented a letter addressed to President Bernstine that stated, “the way OSPIRG correlates with the SFC Evaluation Criteria shows they are a group that deserves funding for its chapter and mission.”

“OSPIRG fundamentally says that students do not have a voice. This is their mission, and they need to work at a larger scale with paid professionals to get their job done,” said Arrington.

At the student senate meeting Sen. Aaron O’Donnell voiced his opposition to the motion made to reject the SFC final allocations.

“To reject the entire budget based on one group … that’s just ludicrous,” said O’Donnell.

The SFC spent more then 1,000 combined hours on the budget.

Tracy Earll, SFC chair, says, “It’s unfortunate that a slight majority of the senators decided to deny the budget based on one student group’s budget. There are about 90 programs for the total budget, and the other programs weren’t even referenced. So it seems kind of curious to only focus on one student group and no one even asked questions about the funding of any one else.”

Earll says less then 25 percent of the student senators spoke to her about the SFC’s allocations before the final vote was made.

“I feel that they didn’t spend enough time talking about any other programs. To decide that you feel a program should be funded at a certain level you need to have a knowledge of the other programs requesting funding as well, which is why the SFC is given the authority and responsibility to make the funding decision for these programs.”

Earll says the SFC allocated OSPIRG’s funding request based on its status as a student group

According to Earll, OSPIRG gets access to funds that most student groups don’t.

“We get a lot of requests for large increases but usually that doesn’t happen” she said, “An average student group gets $13,500, so for OSPIRG to get $33,000, they’re already over double an average student group.

The budget now goes to President Bernstine. He has ten business days to review the budget and make any changes he feels necessary to the budget.

– Stephanie Ryan