OSPIRG, SFC meeting called off

A meeting between OSPIRG and the Student Fee Committee scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday was cancelled by OSPIRG representatives because too few of their members were available to attend.

The meeting was intended to be a continuation of the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) budget appeal hearing with the fee committee. OSPIRG’s budget appeal hearing Feb. 9 ran 45 minutes overtime and ended with neither party feeling as though the group’s budget issues had been resolved.

The appeal is the group’s last chance to make a defense for the $125,134 they are requesting in student fees this year. The fee committee has recommended that the group receive only $40,000, a sum far less than what is needed to sustain an OSPIRG chapter on campus, the group has said.

At the appeal hearing, the fee committee and OSPIRG argued over whether the group was using the Banner budget system to report their expenditures, whether the fee money would be used for on-campus activities, and whether or not OSPIRG would receive a fair deliberation next week when the fee committee decides how much money the group will be allocated.

So far, OSPIRG is unsure if they will ask to reschedule the meeting, according to campus coordinator Meredith Small. Even if they plan on doing so, there may not be time.

"We have a deadline," Student Fee Committee Chair Tracy Earll said. "There’s not a lot of room in our schedule for flexibility."

The Student Fee Committee, which handles allocation of more that $7 million in student fees to over 80 student groups and campus athletics, is scheduled to make its final decisions on student group funding at deliberation meetings Feb. 14-16. The committee’s recommended budget will then be submitted to the student senate for approval.