By Liz Friden
College Republicans forfeited the $31,000 allocated to them by Treasury Board after they were informed of the remaining student activity fee fund on October 30.
Treasury Board voted on Monday, October 22 in a regularly scheduled meeting to allocate the money to College Republicans. Like other student organizations, College Republicans gave a presentation for the event and the need for $31,000 to host the former White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, speak on campus. Treasury board approved the funding request the night of the 22nd and notified College Republicans of the funding approval the following day. College Republicans originally accepted the funding approval.
Before giving the funds back to Treasury Board, the Student Government Association (SGA) was set to vote Monday, November 5. With a 2/3 majority, this vote had the potential to override the Treasury Board allocation of $31,000 to College Republicans.
After the allocation of this money, the SGA looked at the effect the allocation of $31,000 would have on the student activity fee funding as a whole. The student activity fund is something all Catholic U students contribute to as part of their tuition and fees for the university. The fund is allocated to different organizations on campus throughout each academic year. The SGA Executive decision to bring this to the Senate was following controversy over the funding of the event and had nothing to do with the politics of the speaker.
It is difficult to tell what the student activity fee is at any given time because of its “mutable’’ nature. When Treasury Board voted to allocate the funds to College Republicans, they did not know the exact number of the student activity fee.
‘’The Board made the decision as we believe it corresponded with our mission, using finances to foster a greater Catholic University undergraduate community. The Board, as how it has been operating throughout this entire year, had not been presented the overall Student Activity Fee budget,’’ Brendan Dillon the Treasurer of SGA said. ‘’The Activity Fee is an entirely fluid number which can change at any moment due to a myriad of reasons. This makes it incredibly difficult to estimate.’’
Before College Republicans gave the money back to SGA, in an attempt to dispel rumors about the funding and vote, SGA released an email to all student organization leaders Tuesday October 30.
‘’We fear that this allocation will inhibit the Treasury Board’s ability to ensure all student organizations at this University are able to operate and host their own events in the remainder of the academic year, which is why it is moving to the Senate,” the statement said.
The vote to potentially override for the allocation was enacted by SGA itself. According to the SGA Senate Constitution, the Senate can override the treasury board allocation with a 2/3 vote and approval from the SGA President, Jimmy Harrington. There are 26 voting members of the SGA Senate.
This put College Republicans in a difficult situation. Giving the money back was a decision they felt was necessary to make.
‘’It was never our intention to prevent other student orgs from hosting and putting on great events for their members and the campus community as a whole,” Elise Lafleur, the Vice President of College Republicans said in a statement.
Many students have concern over the funding of this event.
Katie Hodgdon, the President of the International Affairs Association was shocked when she heard $31,000 was allocated to one organization. “I don’t understand why they can get $31,000 for one event when we can’t get $31,000 for our entire year.”
Late Monday night, before the SGA email was sent out to student leaders, Marie Erickson, President of College Democrats emailed a statement to members of College Democrats expressing concern for the funding.
“Our organization has a plan to encourage all of you to voice your opinions about how funding this event could potentially impact your involvement in student activities due to funding concerns,” the email said.
The third Senate meeting of the year will convene November 5th at 8 p.m. In each Senate session, there will is a period of public comment. With College Republicans giving the money back, it is unclear what the public comment will be.
Below are allocations Treasury Board has granted to student organizations for reference. These allocations have been announced at the two SGA meeting that have been held this year on October 1 and October 22.
10/10 Treasury Board Meeting
Centerstage asked for $171.40 and got $96.70
SOL asked for $1,318.94 and got 1,300.72
Esto Vir asked for $2,056.14 and got $100.00. Due to the fact Esto Ver is exclusively male, the only funds they can receive are the guaranteed $100.00 every student organization gets of the student activity fee.
Business Women’s Council
Total Asking for the BWC Book Club 1 was $324.36 and they got all
a. Total Asking – WOSB Event 1 – $124.05 got all
b. Total Asking – Personal Branding Event – $124.05 and got all
c. Total Asking – BWC Book Club 2 – $250.00 and got all
d. Total Asking – WOSB Event 2 – $220.00 and got all
e. Total Asking – BWC Book Club 3 – $366.08 got $144.00
Women of CUA
f. Total Asking was $712.14 and got all
g. Total Asking -$100.00 and got all
Cardinals for Life asked for $250.00 and got all funds requested
AIAS asked for $6,611.19 and got $5,421.70
YDSA asked for $300.00 got $100.00
10/15 Treasury Board Meeting
Home away from home asked $470.46 and got all the funds requested
German Club asked for $2,684.21 and got 2,395.98
Italian Club asked for $150.00 got $100.00
Turning Point USA asking $157.22 got $144.69
Toastmasters asked for $624.77 got $466.99
FOCUS asked for $882.00 got $816.01