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May 4 Task Force may lose block funding

by Sara Macho
October 18, 2005

Executive Director William Ross met with the May 4 Task Force Thursday to discuss a bill that could potentially remove block funding for the student organization. The Undergraduate Student Senate will tentatively vote on the bill at its meeting Friday.

If the bill is passed, the funds usually set aside for the task force will be made available to all student organizations, according to a press release from USS.

Currently, the task force automatically receives 1.75 percent block funding, or roughly $10,000 each academic year. The organization uses this money towards May 4 commemoration activities. If the task force uses all the allotted funding, it can request more from the Allocations Committee.

The purpose of this bill is to make sure everyone plays by the same rules, said Kevin Folk, business and finance senator. No one student organization is above any other.

But Taryn Leggett, president of the task force, said she is upset over how the bill was originally presented.

According to Leggett, the bill was sent to her as an unnamed e-mail.

I was a little shocked to receive this no subject e-mail saying our organization could lose its permanent block funding, she said. The bill was sent to the task force without prior consultation.

Folk said USS is not trying to handicap the organization. The task force should go through the same process as every other student organization, he said. If the bill is passed, the task force can still go through the allocations process.

If an organization wants to host an event, a request form must be filed with the Allocations Committee. Representatives from the organization will then present their requests to the committee at its weekly meeting.

Sarah Goldstein, past president of the task force, said she is worried about how the status of the organization will change if the bill is passed.

If everyone and their brother is presenting a request for a May 4 commemoration event, it defeats the purpose of the May 4 Task Force, she said.

Leggett said the task force is entrusted with keeping May 4 alive.

We are recognized as the commemoration organization, she said.

Some members of the task force said they are willing to take action if the bill is passed.

USS has a backbone, a spine, on this campus, said Kevin Heade, member of the May 4 Task Force. The task force should take authoritative action cause the organization is about to be ripped off.

Contact student politics reporter Sara Macho at smacho@kent.edu.

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