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Senate faces organization funding questions

In a meeting lasting just 64 minutes, Student Senate allocated over $7,500, but not without asking a few questions.

The funding went to four different campus organizations, and senators spent more than half the meeting asking Treasurer Nate Bleadorn, organization representatives and one another about the allocated funds.

The largest single amount was $4,000, given to Students for Women’s Issues. The money will help pay to bring speaker Jean Kilbourne to Drake during Body Image Week in early November.

“The reason we want to bring Jean Kilbourne to Drake’s campus is because she’s such a well-known speaker,” sophomore SWI Vice President Sheila Brassel told the senators. “We think it’s very important to have her come. Also, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of faculty approval.”

Attendance for a similar speaker two years ago was much less than they’d hoped for, with different sources citing anywhere from 25 to 100 people in the audience. Brassel said SWI saw that changing, in part as a result of so much faculty support.

“Because of the implied extra credit, we believe we’ll have a very large audience,” she said.

“You better,” was Senate’s implicit message during the discussion that followed. The motion approving the funding passed easily, but not before emphatic statements by several senators. They insisted upon effective promotion for the event so that the money spent was more proportional to the number of students present at the lecture.

“I do think this is a great idea, but I would definitely encourage SWI to plug it across campus,” Sen. Rachel Kauffold said. “Twenty-five people for $4,000 is not OK.”

Sen. Dana Hansen asked senators voting in favor of approving the allocation to look for ways Senate could help with publicity.

“When you’re thinking about whether to give this money, think about ways we can support this event as well,” she said.

The Drake lacrosse club received the second largest sum, $2,151, to cover transportation, registration and equipment costs associated with the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association winter league.

Before that motion was passed, three different senators and vice president of student life Byron Spears questioned the club’s president, senior Ben Shoff, about how the funds were being spent and about future fundraising plans.

He mentioned their T-shirt drive, plans to pick up after Des Moines Buccaneers games, a letter-writing campaign and his recent meetings to discuss the matter with Lisa Murphy, Drake’s assistant director of recreational services.

Senate approved the allocation, but also emphasized a need for the club to devise other ways of securing funding.

Also during the meeting, the Drake dance team received $668 to cover choreographer and entry costs associated with the Iowa State Dance Competition and $733.22 was taken from the reserve fund and given to Colleges Against Cancer to donate to the American Cancer Society.

Bleadorn called the last allocation, “kind of an interesting situation.”

The motion was actually for CAC to reclaim the money, which was part of the sum given to the organization last school year. But they were unable to complete their donation before the year ended and, because unused funds are rolled into the reserve fund, they had not been allowed access to them.

Unlike the other allocations, the CAC fund reclaiming motion passed without debate or discussion.



  1. Matthew Jurysta October 25, 2010

    Interesting stuff. I enjoyed reading this article. Thanks Ann please keep this sort of stuff coming.

  2. D October 26, 2010

    The title of the article makes it seem like knowing what was going in Senate had some sort of real controversy. In reality, there’s no controversy, just Senate being Senate.

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