On April 25, a representative from Friends of India appealed to the Associated Student Government Senate to obtain $13,965 for the Diwali Banquet, a November staple of UA events for the last 37 years.
For whatever reasons, Friends of India did not appear before the ASG Appropriations Committee at one interview between April 5 and 9.
ASG had given plenty of notice to all Registered Student Organizations seeking funding for Fall 2006 events, by e-mail specifically, to attend one of three mandatory meetings in late March and to defend their budget proposal to the Appropriations Committee on one of those interview dates.
In Tuesday’s ASG Senate meeting, two representatives of Friends of India requested emergency funding for their banquet, scheduled for Nov. 11.
Sen. Megan Bright defended Friends of India’s case by authoring and sponsoring Bill 3, a piece of legislation that argues above all that the Diwali Banquet is a time-honored tradition.
Before the Senate floor, Bright suggested there might be a problem with the interview process if Friends of India failed to appear for an interview date.
Everybody makes mistakes, that’s universal. What is not universal is that some people still do not accept the consequences for their mistakes.
In this case, Friends of India’s mistake was in following a procedure the way it had done for the past 37 years.
Their consequence for this mistake should be that – as much as it will hurt the UA culturally – the Diwali Banquet would either be under-funded or non-existent this year.
The Appropriations Committee was right in anonymously recommending that the original bill not pass.
At the April 25 Senate meeting, the point was argued that it was unfair for the Appropriations Committee to be given extra work after it had done all it could to give each RSO as much money as possible.
The same point still remains: the committee should not have to pick up the slack of one RSO’s forgetfulness. But, on Tuesday, the Senate approved them for $7,000 for food costs during the November banquet in a 22-12 vote.
More importantly, other RSOs now have the right to complain and demand the same special treatment. Tuesday’s vote has now set a horrible precedent for future appropriation committees.