The Student Assembly appropriations committee unanimously approved byline funding on Tuesday for the Cornell Interfaith Council, giving the group funding for the first time since its inception in 2015.
Once the S.A. approves all final byline funding measures at its final meeting on Dec. 10, the funding will go into effect in fall 2020.
The Cornell Interfaith Council is comprised of the Protestant Cooperative Ministry, the Cornell Sikh Student Association, the Muslim Cultural and Educational Association, the Hindu Student Council, Cornell Hillel and Cornell Catholic. The CIC hosts events to foster interfaith dialogues and celebrations. Currently, the organization is slated to receive $3.75 per student from the Student Activities Fee, which amounts to approximately $55,000 each year from 2020 to 2022, according to a CIC Facebook post.
“We are so excited for the coming year, all the work we’ll be able to do, and this major win for our religious community,” the CIC Facebook post reads.
As the S.A. kicked off its funding cycle for 2019 in September, the CIC is the first group in the S.A.’s roster to have not received byline funding during past funding cycles. This is the first time the CIC’s history that it has applied for byline funding.
The funding will give the CIC increased visibility and allow the group to expand its work in supporting other religious organizations and promoting religious life at Cornell. Previously, the group primarily relied on funds in co-sponsored events with other organizations that could afford to cover costs. CIC also received some financial support from Cornell United Religious Work.
For an organization to receive byline funding, it needs to make a request to the appropriations committee — the requested funding comes out of the Student Activities Fee. The appropriations committee can either vote for or against the request.
In a statement to The Sun, Atif Akhter ’22, vice president of CIC, said that he was excited about the funding, as it will have an impact on other underfunded religious organizations on campus. Akhter also mentioned how CIC’s byline funding benefits organizations like the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association.
“What makes me happiest about getting byline funding for the Interfaith Council is how much this will influence our underfunded religious organizations,” Akhter said. “[C]IC becoming byline funded is now going to free up some funding for MECA to provide meals necessary for Muslim students to practice [Ramadan]. As a student who fasts for Ramadan, I am extremely proud of this accomplishment.”
Moriah Adeghe ’21, vice president of finance and minority liaison at-large, said in a message to The Sun that she was pleased that the appropriations committee unanimously approved CIC’s request to offer the group more institutional support.
“I think that the Interfaith Council already does great work on our campus, bringing together people of all faiths and those who may not be affiliated with any certain faith,” Adeghe said. “What they really needed was institutional financial support and I am glad that [the Student Activities Fee] will help them achieve more of their goals and fulfill the mission that they have.”
Now that the group’s received the appropriation committee’s approval, the funding report will now make its way to the entire S.A. for approval on Thursday.