BRC denies LASO appeal, allocates $1.3k to student groups

The Budget Review Committee (BRC) reviewed requests for student group programs and examined the Latin American Student Organization’s (LASO) appeal from its prior meeting last night.

LASO appealed the BRC’s decision not to grant the student group money for its Staff Appreciation Day event.

Members of the BRC discussed and re-evaluated the event, reaching the conclusion that it violated the student group’s mission statement, which is “dedicated to the advancement of our culture and the preservation of our identity.”

There was also much debate as to whether the event constituted a community service event. The BRC, a subcommittee of the Student Government Association (SGA), which allocates funds from the student activities fee (SAF) to student groups, only funds community service events whose main participants are students, as stated in the BRC guidelines.

Committee member Benjamin Brown said at the meeting even though Staff Appreciation Day is an important event that should occur, he doubted whether the money should come from the student activities fee or from the university.

Member Shane Lloyd was an advocate of reversing the BRC’s initial decision.

“I think this is going to be a collaborative effort with LASO in the forefront. They always invite other groups to participate, and [the event] will really impact the community,” he said, enforcing the idea that students would still be the main participants in the event.

The BRC reviewed requests from other student groups, granting a total of $138,257.

One of the major events funded was Step Fest 2007, requested by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Step Fest is an annual event brought to the community by African-American sororities and fraternities, and this year costs $40,542 to fund items like the speaker’s fee and equipment.

Christopher Bourne, vice president of the College Republicans, requested funds for their Leadership and Governance Program, which wants to bring Mitt Romney to campus. The BRC granted the student group $4,943, which includes $2,196 for Boston Police enforcement.

Jessie Goldbas and Brian Vinikoor, representatives from MEISA Live, were granted $8,500 to bring indie-rock band The Format to afterHOURS in March.

The Islamic Society of Northeastern, which puts on a different event every year, was awarded $2,920 to put on a comedy show. The Arab Student Association was awarded a total of $36,163 for Arab Awareness Week.

The Northeastern Black Student Association was awarded $5,200 for the “Auction Block to Hip Hop” play they will host, and an additional $28,460 to bring Cornell West to campus to speak to students.

NUCALLS received $715 to show three foreign films to promote the student group. The Northeastern Cape Verdean Student Association was given $2,335 to host its annual cultural show. Students for Environmental Action will receive $4,182 to put together a “Do it in the Dark” event, hoping to conserve energy in the residence halls and Delta Phi Epsilon sorority will receive $4,177 to host its “Take Back the Night/The Clothesline Project.”

Money was also budgeted for the debate team, even though it was drastically less than the $3,300 they initially asked for due to a misunderstanding with the SAF Manual Guidelines.

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