Student government voted in favor of an “emergency status” bill to allocate $20,000 from the Senate General Fund, which comes from student fees, to pay for the 2008 Homecoming Rail Jam Wednesday. The bill passed 10-2.
Because the Student Fee Review Board, a student organization responsible for allocating $32 million in student fees, does not convene until spring, the financial decision fell onto the shoulders of the Associated Students CSU.
CSU Snowriders, the largest student organization on campus, requested the money for the event from the ASCSU last month. According to financial record, they have not asked for any money in more than five years.
The 2008 Rail Jam is a ski and snowboarding exposition to be sponsored by ASCSU and corporate giants such as Red Bull.
The total bill for demonstration is $25,500, which includes, transportation, labor, insurance, travel and lodging and most importantly, the snow, which will be piled in the Lory Student Center Plaza on Oct. 8.
Students can watch Colorado professional athletes riding the rails on a mountain of man-made snow, supplied by California snowriding company, Arctic Ice.
As a rule, organizations have to raise at least 10 percent of the total monies allocated by the SGF.
To date, the Snowriders have raised $5,400 or 27 percent of the total cost.
“Colorado is the Mecca of skiing and snowboarding and the scale of the event is one that we have never experienced,” said Adam Pitchford, president of CSU Snowriders when he presented the proposal to ASCSU Wednesday. “This is potentially huge for the university and for ASCSU”.
The bill, written by Jenna Coleman, director of finance, was sponsored by six student government senators before the bill was put to vote. It did face negative reactions in debate.
Senators questioned high-dollar sponsorship of an event that not all students are guaranteed to appreciate. Debate was cut short when senators were reminded that allocations can’t be determined by student interest.
Coleman justified her position by explaining how accessible money is to other organizations and the number of students this will affect. Coleman said an estimated 5,000 people walk across the plaza each day.
“[The SGF has] $210,000 dollars to give out every year, and every student organization is given the opportunity to access those fees,” she said. “The way I see it, the event is going to be right in the middle of the plaza where tons of people are going to see it.”
ASCSU Beat Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at email@example.com.