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Council Votes to Give More Money to Groups

By Peggy S. Chen

A divided Undergraduate Council approved an amendment last night that increased the council's budget allocations for student groups and decreased money for campus-wide social events.

The budget, however, does not set aside money for a proposed student groups merit fund, which would fund any student group regardless of financial need.

The budget allocates 63 percent of the council's $117,040 for grants, 28 percent for student affairs and campus-wide activities and 9 percent for internal council expenses.

The merit fund was proposed to correct what some council members saw as a flaw in the grants process--that groups with no cash reserves are given money while financially solvent groups receive none.

"What happens to these large student groups is that they're being penalized for sound financial planning," said Derrick N. Ashong '97, president of the Black Students Association.

Council members struck down the merit fund 48 to 13, saying the entire grants process itself should be reformed.

"One thousand, seven hundred dollars or $3,400 [proposed for the merit fund] is a piddly sum," said Robert B. Wolinsky '97, finance committee vice-chair. "What we should be doing is opening the grants process to these [larger] groups. If that comes at the expense of these smaller groups, that's a decision that we're going to have to make."

Opponents of the budget package said they feared the cut in the Campus Life Committee fund would cripple its ability to put on more campus-wide events.

"Are we going to be a committee that only manages Yalegate, Springfest and the Levensons? Is that going to be our only responsibility?" said Catherine D. Rucker '99.

President Robert M. Hyman '98 disagreed: "By and large, these events are just traditional money losers. [The budget] is a move in the right direction."

The Finance Committee met this week to discuss the budget and originally recommended allocations for the grants fund be set at 61.5 percent.

The budget was tabled last Sunday. If the council had not passed it this week, it would not have been able to approve any bills that use council funds.

Leaders of several ethnic organizations, calling themselves the Coalition of the Student Leaders for U.C. Reform, attended the meeting to support hiking both the grants fund and the merit fund.

Other Business

The council also approved $1,000 to pay for anonymous HIV testing at University Health Services (UHS). Students now pay the $10 testing fees.

The council also budgeted $1,375 for Yalegate festivities. It voted to support work on a student resource center in Loker Commons, and to request that the University regulate the presence of stray dogs in the Harvard Yard and the Quad

Opponents of the budget package said they feared the cut in the Campus Life Committee fund would cripple its ability to put on more campus-wide events.

"Are we going to be a committee that only manages Yalegate, Springfest and the Levensons? Is that going to be our only responsibility?" said Catherine D. Rucker '99.

President Robert M. Hyman '98 disagreed: "By and large, these events are just traditional money losers. [The budget] is a move in the right direction."

The Finance Committee met this week to discuss the budget and originally recommended allocations for the grants fund be set at 61.5 percent.

The budget was tabled last Sunday. If the council had not passed it this week, it would not have been able to approve any bills that use council funds.

Leaders of several ethnic organizations, calling themselves the Coalition of the Student Leaders for U.C. Reform, attended the meeting to support hiking both the grants fund and the merit fund.

Other Business

The council also approved $1,000 to pay for anonymous HIV testing at University Health Services (UHS). Students now pay the $10 testing fees.

The council also budgeted $1,375 for Yalegate festivities. It voted to support work on a student resource center in Loker Commons, and to request that the University regulate the presence of stray dogs in the Harvard Yard and the Quad

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