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Activity-fee debate finally resolved

BY MICHELLE HILLENBRAND | FEBRUARY 17, 2010 7:30 AM

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A roughly yearlong debate over how to allocate the UI’s Student Activity Fee funds could finally be wrapping up.

The UI Student Government approved a new committee at its meeting Tuesday evening that would serve as the joint financial committee for both UISG and the Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students.

Student Governments at Iowa will replace an interim policy created by Thomas Rocklin, the interim vice president for Student Services, in March 2009 that split the funding responsibility between both governments.

The new group will allocate money to student groups that affect both the undergraduate and graduate schools, including such large student groups as SCOPE, UISG Vice President JD Moran said. The new panel will also set the budget cap for such organizations as KRUI and Homecoming.

Student Government at Iowa will have members from both UISG’s and the Executive Council’s allocating committees.

Funding for undergraduate groups will still be through UISG’s Student Assembly Budgeting Allocating Committee, and allocations for graduate organizations will be under the Executive Council’s equivalent.

The Executive Council also approved the new committee at its meeting Tuesday, UISG officials said.

The new group would only function with the cooperation of both parties, officials said. Group members are still working to define the specifics of the new arrangement, said Patrick Cebrzynski, UISG’s financial officer.

UISG senators approved giving roughly $65,000 of Student Activity Fee funds to campus groups. The allocations were determined by the budgeting committee before being approved.

Several student groups requested additional funding at Tuesday’s meeting. For instance, the newly created Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations garnered money for a professional trip to Chicago.

Earlier in the meeting, Jane Meyer, the senior associate athletics director, delivered bad news to UISG members: Construction could hinder the group’s hopes of bringing concerts to Carver-Hawkeye Arena before 2012.

“Carver’s primary use right now in the current state is to hold the athletics events and practices,” she said.

The facility is undergoing a $43 million renovation, set to be completed in late 2011. Because construction workers need access to the facility at certain times, scheduling concerts could be challenging, she said.

Meyer emphasized that arena officials are not opposed to holding concerts in the future — as long as they do not interfere with Hawkeye teams’ schedules or graduation ceremonies.

In the past, musical groups including the Backstreet Boys graced the arena.

Former UISG President Maison Bleam ran on a platform that included bringing concerts back to the arena. While not officially on their platform, UISG President Michael Currie and Moran, the vice-president, said they hoped to do the same.

“It’s something that I feel like all students get behind,” Moran said. “I think it’s nice that we’ve talked with them and made steps to have them in the future at all.”

UISG officials plan to talk about the idea with Meyer again in August 2011, around when the arena’s construction would wrap up.


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