Chair removals discussed for allocations

Jackie Valley

The proposed removal of three permanent seats held by prominent Kent State student organizations sparked heated discussions during the Allocations Committee’s second ad hoc meeting Friday.

Sean Groves, senator for business and finance, proposed eliminating the three permanent seats in the Allocations Committee that are held by the All Campus Programming Board, Inter-Greek Programming Board and Black United Students.

Instead, Groves said the committee would consist of eight at-large members and a senator appointed by the Undergraduate Student Senate.

“I don’t see how it is fair these groups have permanent seats and others do not,” he said, noting there are 218 student organizations on campus.

To ensure a fair voting environment, Groves also proposed allowing only one executive board member from any student organization to be seated on the committee.

Racial diversity and fairness divided the committee concerning the proposed changes.

Committee member Matt White, who supported the permanent seat removal, said the changes would create equal opportunity for qualified and dedicated students to join the committee.

“Diversity will be here because qualified minority students exist,” he said.

Academic Affairs Senator Preston Mitchum disagreed, citing a need for a permanent BUS seat to prevent discrimination and ensure a minority perspective.

Committee member Donovan Hill said the split among members’ opinions is unavoidable.

“Not everyone will leave here happy today,” he said. “The winner will be judged not by us but by future students.”

The committee postponed the discussion to further investigate the history of the permanent seats in the Allocation Committee.

USS Executive Director Ross Miltner also proposed changing the block funding ACPB receives – 54 percent of the committee’s annual budget – to a flat fee of $200,000.

“Programming on campus is severely flawed for multiple reasons,” he said. “This is my take on one idea to help fix the problem.”

Miltner said the changes would prevent ACPB from acting as a secondary Allocation Committee because the flat fee would only cover the expenses for the organization’s three major events – BlastOff!, Homecoming and FlashFest – and one additional concert. ACPB would receive funding for smaller programs through the Allocation Committee.

Committee member Christopher Taylor, a representative of ACPB, said he feared the proposed changes to ACPB funding would prevent it from continuing several smaller programs, such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show event and Battle of the Bands.

Groves said the changes are necessary for fairness.

“It’s only appropriate if ACPB wants to put on small programming,” he said. “They should come to allocations.”

Miltner said the ad hoc process for the Allocation Committee is expected to last through March.

“We haven’t heard the last of these two issues,” he said.

In other business, the committee finalized the proposed guideline changes for student organizations that receive funding to attend conferences. Within two weeks of the organization’s return, unless otherwise decided, the organization must set up a table in The Student Center to share information with other students or plan an equivalent event approved by USS.

The guideline changes will be brought to the next USS meeting for evaluation.

The ad hoc process will resume at the next Allocation Committee meeting at 4 p.m. Friday in the Governance Chambers of The Student Center.

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].