November 17, 2011

GPSA Debates Funding for Slope Day

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The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly approved its appropriations committee’s recommendation for the Slope Day Programming Board on Monday, despite the SDPB’s appeal.

Although SDPB requested funding of $6 per graduate student, an increase from its current funding of $3.07 per graduate student, the GPSA’s appropriations committee recommended the SDPB receive $3.50, or $24,500.

The GPSA voted to approve the committee’s recommendation, but the decision is not final. This upcoming Monday, the GPSA will debate the final activity fee for graduate students.

“Anything can happen — the entire resolution is amendable as it stands,” GPSA President Evan Cortens grad said. “People will probably give weight to appropriations committee’s recommendation … but from a parliamentary perspective it’s possible someone could offer an amendment increasing or decreasing Slope Day’s funding.”

SDPB members have said the club needs at least $4.50 per graduate student to continue to allow graduate students to attend the concert for free, according to Cortens. If the organization does not receive sufficient funds, it may reject the funding and instead charge graduate students for Slope Day tickets.

SDPB members have said that graduate students will have to purchase tickets for $25 in this scenario, Cortens said.

The SDPB requested $6 per graduate student so its allocation “is proportional to the attendance figures of graduate students,” according to a statement issued by Jon Rau ’12, finance director of SDPB, and Noelle Cornelio ’12, chair of the SDPB.

“We are eager to work with the GPSA to continue our partnership, but we hope to see more of a commitment on their end to make the current funding structure feasible,” Rau and Cornelio said. “While we understand the importance of maintaining a reasonable GPSAF, our request comes after much consideration and discussion with administrators.”

However, at Monday’s meeting, members of the GPSA expressed concerned that not enough graduate students attend Slope Day to justify allocating money from graduate students’ Student Activity Fee.

Allison Nash grad, GPSA at-large representative, said that $3.50 was too large an allocation given how many graduate students attend the event. She instead recommended funding Slope day at a “slightly lower” amount.

“Slope Day, yes, is an important tradition, but it’s not entirely an inclusive day for all graduate students,” she said.

Yet Gionvanna Danies Turino grad, a non-voting field representative for the GPSA, said that the appropriation committee’s recommendation should be approved so that graduate students who wish to attend do not have to pay.

“People think it’s fun or people hate it. Not getting anything is not fair for people who really like it,” she said. “I think there should be a balance because not giving anything is making relations [with SDPB] not work.”

Cortens said that if SDPB does not accept funding of $3.50, some graduate students who would otherwise attend Slope Day might not attend because they are unwilling to pay for a ticket.

“There is a sense among some people, not universal by any means, that many of the graduate and professional students attend because it’s free — not because they want to attend Slope Day,” he said. “If they had to pay for it, they would probably not attend.”

However, Cortens said, other graduate students would prefer increased funding from the student activity fee.

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Original Author: Joseph Niczky