Allocations Committee needs consistency

This week, Undergradate Student Senate approved PRIDE!Kent’s appeal for funding for its AIDS Awareness Week and memorial after the group’s request was denied by the Allocations Committee. The original request for funding was for an elaborate display of memorial markers.

Kevin Folk, USS senator for business and finance and chair of the Allocations Committee, read a prepared statement that asked executive officers of the co-sponsoring organizations to send him e-mails describing what involvement they would have with the memorial. He also wanted 50 undergraduate students to e-mail their support.

As reported in the Daily Kent Stater Tuesday, PRIDE! President Christopher Taylor said, “I’ve never heard of this stipulation before. We’ve never had to fulfill a quota before.”

Folk said there was some misunderstanding regarding his suggestions.

“I was trying to help them out,” Folk said. “Once I get the e-mails, I’ll be able to say, ‘This is what the students want.'”

There seems to be a divide between the Allocations Committee and the groups that came before it asking for money.

Groups see the Allocations Committee as a hurdle on their way to doing a program, while the Allocations Committee can’t possibly fund every organization that comes forward.

But it does seem a little suspicious that PRIDE!’s original request, a mere $5,800, would be denied. At the beginning of its preparations, PRIDE! made the announcement to various organizations, detailing its plan and asking if other organizations would like to co-sponsor. Twenty-three organizations wanted to participate. To the average person, it would seem like that’s more than enough support: a clear indication that undergraduate students were interested in this program. What’s the point in asking them to e-mail support?

On the other hand, the Allocations Committee has given PRIDE! more than $36,000 this school year already, including $33,000 for Margaret Cho. So it doesn’t make sense to argue this is a PRIDE! versus allocations situation.

The real problem is allocations has no consistency in approving funding for events that will attract a large number of students. Allocations has given tons of money to events that hardly garnered much interest among the students. While it is hard to anticipate how many students will actually leave their rooms to support an event, we believe the original AIDS memorial proposal should have passed. AIDS is a monumental disease that affects people from every walk of life. PRIDE!’s request to place memorial markers on campus would have definitely attracted a number of students, from those who were interested in learning more about the disease,to those who were only nosy.

The Allocations Committee needs to get its act together and be more consistent when it comes to funding programs. No one likes to put on an event that bombs, but no one likes being denied the opportunity to hold the event in the first place.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.