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Union Funds Remain High

All Union accounts were announced “financially viable,” as Union senators allocated $2,401.20 to three different student groups at last night’s Union meeting.

Student Union Vice President of Financial Affairs Carl Woog said all Union accounts are in good standing but urged senators to use their remaining allocations wisely.

“Tonight, the Student Union remains the most heavily funded organization on campus while nearly every other office in the University accepts budget cuts,” Woog said.

Woog said before tonight’s allocations, $5,801.20 of the originally allocated $10,000 remained in the Senate Projects Account, which holds money allocated to groups approaching the Union with funding requests. Nearly all of the original $3,500 of the Senate Internal Account, funds used for Senate internal projects, remains.

The Senate has allocated an approximate average of $820 per group that has requested funding this year, Woog said. He urged the Senate to carefully allocate the remaining money.

“As the Senate’s financial advisor, I urge caution,” Woog said. “I want the Senate to consider their duties to their constituency — funding programs that reach a wide campus audience and fulfilling the goals of the Union.”

Of the original $15,604.96 Executive Board budget, $5,386.58 remains, Woog said. He said though the account may seem disproportionately empty, it is perhaps the Union’s best-standing account. The e-board’s term is nearly two-thirds over, and Woog said it makes sense that the account is nearly two-thirds empty.

“The e-board has been very aggressive in reaching the student body since they took office in May,” Woog said.

Senators allocated $1,000 to Umoja, BU’s black student organization, for the Impact fashion show, which rounds out Black History Month for the group each year. $1,000 is the largest amount the Union Senate can allocate to one group on any funding request.

Umoja leaders presenting to the Union last night said the event’s proceeds will cover the group’s costs for next fall. Umoja received $500 from the Union e-board as well last night, said Union President Zachary Coseglia.

The Union also allocated $800 to cover van transportation costs for the BU inline skating team during its spring trip to national finals in St. Louis.

The BU India Club and Hindu Students Council also received funding to cover the costs of their Ek Aasha charity dance held last week. The clubs will split evenly the $601.20 allocated by the Senate. Coseglia said the Union e-board also allocated $425 to the groups last night.

The president said the Union’s allocations were not made specifically to minority groups because they are minority groups and are not part of the Union’s larger University Perspectives project to diversify BU’s student body.

“We don’t sit there and say, ‘We need to fund minority groups,'” Coseglia said. “Their recognition of diversity and campus unity is something we like, but we’re not trying specifically to give money to multicultural affairs — they just happen to be very qualified.”

Coseglia said the Union hopes to get as much done on the University Perspectives project as possible before a March 1 meeting with Provost and College of Arts and Sciences Dean Denis Berkey.

Union VP of Public Relations Laurie Steinberg announced a plan to assign a senator to every campus student organization. Senators from the Union Public Relations and Student Affairs Committees will participate in the joint venture of the two committees, titled the “Student Affairs Liaison Initiative.”

Steinberg, a senior in the College of Communication, said the initiative will allow all campus student organizations to easily access a Union representative and will help “get the Union name out there.”

Warren Towers Senator Raja Bhattar also announced his resignation last night, citing “personal reasons.”

Ethan Bortnicker, a CAS freshman representing Myles Standish Hall, and Jesse Kalata, a CAS freshman representing Bay State Road, were approved by the Senate and sworn in at the meeting. Melissa Ackerman, a CAS sophomore, was also approved to fill one of two open Student Union Elections Council positions.

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