OSPIRG sent back to the table

OSPIRG퀌_s quest to obtain $123,353 from the Student Fee Committee for next year퀌_s operations were set back Friday when the committee denied their initial request and sent back a recommendation that OSPIRG return with a request closer to the $26,000 budget of last year.

While the members weren퀌_t necessarily denying the group퀌_s budget request in its entirety, they were asking for a more modest request, with more clarification.

The Oregon Student Public Interest Group (OSPIRG) was involved in controversy last year when the SFC reduced the funding of the group from $120,000 to $26,000, citing the group퀌_s focus on off-campus activities and a lack of lucidity in its records.

Judging by the deliberations, that concern is still present among some members of the SFC. 퀌�This is the one group that퀌_s located on campus, but isn퀌_t controlled on-campus,퀌� SFC member Evan Garich said.

OSPIRG maintains a number of chapters at various state universities in Oregon, including the University of Oregon. Each chapter collects money from student fees and feeds those funds into a central state pool, reallocating the monies to fund any number of their research and advocacy campaigns.

Members of the SFC, particularly chair Tracy Earll had concerns about the way in which student money from PSU could possibly benefit students at University of Oregon, or elsewhere.

This concern is not a new one, and OSPIRG has tried to reorganize to work around the concerns of the SFC from last year.

Part of that reorganization process was to create a board of PSU students, known unofficially as the 퀌�PSU Seven퀌� which would oversee the money given to OSPIRG by the SFC.

SFC member Kristy Harper wasn퀌_t convinced that the board had enough power to meet the requirement that decisions regarding SFC groups be made mostly by PSU students since in order to be recognized as an OSPIRG chapter, the PSU group would need to hand over a certain amount of funds. Harper was concerned that the implied requirement that OSPIRG chapters give up a certain amount of money based on the number of students at their respective schools would hamper the 퀌�PSU Seven퀌_s퀌� decision-making process.

퀌�In order for you to be a chapter you have to give [the money] to the state,퀌� Harper said.

Student groups on campus have requested just under $9 million from the SFC for next year, $2 million will most likely go to Athletics.

The Vanguard is funded by student fee money; its request hearing will be held tomorrow.