Burnt Orange Report

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September 08, 2004

Burnt Orange Report From the Floor

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

Yet another Tuesday, yet another UT Student Government meeting.

This week there was not much up on the agenda. Some housekeeping, updates from reps and committee people, and the executive reports.

I was surprised with the level of positive response to Graduate Rep. Laura Gladney-Lemon's proposal (which was floated last Spring) to form an exploratory group around the issue of adding height/weight discrimination to UT's non-discrimination policy. I'm beginning to wonder if this year's assembly is going to be as conservative as I originally thought. I think that they are more willing to explore ideas and research them, though we will see later if that turns into votes.

Same goes for the sign up sheet for interest in getting on board with the Orange Bike Project, which I discussed in last week's report.

The only bill tonight was the Increased Appropriations legislation. What should have been another easy sailing bill ended up getting slowed down by a number of questions, most well reasoned. The real controversy came later after the meeting when International Affairs co-director Matt Stolhandske brought up his concerns that he felt that the body connected with the student populace primarily through Appropriations and that he did not feel that money given to SG Agencies and Committees may be as worthwhile when it should instead be going to student groups. (Matt is a friend of mine, granted he's YCT, but at least one of the reasonable ones that thinks)

For me, being a co-director for the GLBTAAA and a budget that runs about $3500 (by far the largest alongside the Women's Resource Center) such talk affects me. Personally, I do see the value of having funds because my agency serves as an umbrella over about 10 student groups on campus, none of which have the time or connections to make larger events happen. The money that flows from the GLBTAAA, is money that likely would never get back to those 10 student groups if it was just general appropriation money.

Now, I'm not going to just fill up a budget with pointless items, my German heritage won't let me do that. har har. If I find that I only need $3,000, that's all I'm going to submit. But with the way that SG operates, agencies collectively have been funded at last year's levels. Since there is no more and no less money out there, I don't have an economic incentive to change my allocation, other than my personal nature to do what is right. I think that is what Matt was getting at and I agree with him on that. I don't mind defending a budget, because it makes government honest. (Though I'm sure someday I'm going to wish I never said that comment.)

That's it for this week. The only other thing that made me happy was that I now have an official nametag. And it's Burnt Orange.

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at September 8, 2004 12:04 AM | TrackBack

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