Oct 152009
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

After an internal student government dispute froze $19,800 granted to the American Indian Sciences and Engineering Society for its annual Native American Awareness month celebrations until next week, President Dan Gearhart gave the “green light” to begin the allocation process.

Gearhart met with the Associated Students of CSU’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Jake McMahon and resolved that the complaint filed about “the manner in which the funds were allocated” by the Student Fee Board – a student government entity that votes to allocate more than $200,000 to fund student organization programming – in its Oct. 8 meeting was not enough to delay funding to AISES.

“It was determined that the spirit of the injunction (between Gearhart and McMahon) only pertained to SFB conduct and because Senate is the overriding body on funding issues, and they voted to allocate the money. The process (of awarding AISES the money) will start immediately,” ASCSU spokesperson Matt Strauch said Thursday night.

In the days following SFB’s meeting, ASCSU Speaker Pro Temp Jordan Von Bokern filed a complaint against the committee for having allowed someone who had not yet been ratified by Senate to participate in the vote, which requires that seven members of the committee review funding requests. Gearhart held that the individual’s position did not require ratification by Senate and did not affect SFB’s approval.

ASCSU voted to grant AISES the money – that will go to fund a POW WOW and other Native American Awareness Month Events – in its Senate meeting Wednesday night.

Several senators were concerned that the money may be better spent on events that attract greater student attendance – last year, the POW WOW attracted an estimated 250 students.

Ultimately, members of the Senate said that AISES had expressed a desire to increase student participation and that the money was needed to put on events to educate the greater and CSU communities about the Native American heritage.

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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