University Day unable to find funding from the ASUO

Planners and volunteers for University Day — campus’ annual beautification event — got lucky with a nice Eugene spring day. Event coordinators now say they were not as lucky with finding funding for the event, being turned away by the ASUO early on.

University Day Chair Simone Walter was upset that the student government chose not to fund the yearly cleanup, but said that it was because of the group’s status within the [email protected]@

“University Day can’t get funding from the ASUO because we are an event that is under the Office of the Dean of Students, so we’re like a department and, as a result, the ASUO wants nothing to do with us,” Walter said. “That’s really unfortunate, trying to get a special request in Senate or funds from the Executive. I know that was something that was really frustrating to me.”

Special requests, requesting money from the Senate surplus account, are traditionally used by student groups recognized by the student government as an ASUO group.

But Sen. Max Barkley, Senate vice president, said that on a case-by-case basis, senators have occasionally given out funds to unrecognized groups if an official group asks on its [email protected]@[email protected]@

“They could have teamed up with a program. In really strict policy, it’s not allowed. But I’ve seen it done before if it’s for a worthy cause,” Barkley said.

The Green Tape Notebook, the ASUO’s governing document, requires special requests to come from groups in the incidental fee index — programs, specific departments, EMU groups and contracts. But, as Barkley said, there is a precedent for student groups sponsoring other groups not receiving special requests [email protected]@

The budget for the event, Walter said, has been in the neighborhood of $10,000 to fund everything the planning has needed, including the sound system for the EMU, supplies for the work and the T-shirts students get for working an hour — the largest expense.

“We try and always raise extra so that we can roll over for each year, so that’s always nice to have a little cushion at the beginning of the year,” Walter said.

University Day also had a crunch from the lack of funds from the Residence Hall Association. They have gotten some support in years past from the governing body of campus housing, but this year the RHA gave $6,000 to the planners of Mallard Madness and were unable to give to University Day.

Walter said the directors were able to continue holding the event as they have in the past because of their many donors, including the Bias Response Team, Best Western and the Office of the President.

The ASUO Senate Over-realized Fund Committee was responsible for creating a way to distribute the $200,000 left from enrollment underestimation, because the fee is set before all students are enrolled.

There was a $50,000 request to start an endowment fund for University Day, but because of restrictions in the committee’s bylaws, it chose to not fund [email protected]@

“They raised money from multitude of sources and were going to use ASUO money to fund an endowment,” committee Chair Evan Thomas said. “We can’t fund endowments; because of this, they swapped it (the request).”

Thomas said that the committee chose not to fund the group because of these circumstances, but if the planners next year wanted to get money from the ASUO for the event, they could come back with a request for just the event. He also said the group could go to Senate under the umbrella of another group and make a special request in that way.

“I’m sure there are dozens of groups willing to house University Day,” Thomas said.

The Emerald was unable to receive further comment from Walter about comments from members of the ASUO as of deadline.

Kenny Ocker contributed to this report.

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