TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, March 31, 2004
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House vote prohibits charitable donations
The House of Student Representatives gave more than $16,000 to two organizations last night.

By Matt Turner
Staff Reporter

If a rule was in place prohibiting the House of Student Representatives from giving money to charity, would it still have funded the Journey of Hope bicycle trip benefiting PUSH America? That was the question President Jay Zeidman asked the House Tuesday night.

No one seemed to have an answer.

The House passed a bill prohibiting charitable contributions last night after several House members said they needed to reverse the precedent the Journey of Hope bill set on charitable giving.

“We had a precedent of not giving money to charities and then we did,” said Sebastian Moleski, vice president of Programming Council.

In other action:

• The African Heritage Organization received $14,208 for a service trip to Kenya.
• Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. received $2,100 to go to their national convention.
• Zeta Tau Alpha’s bill to get money for breast cancer awareness was tabled indefinitely because it was a charitable contribution.

“I don’t think we should limit our spending habits,” argued Lenny Armijo, chairman of the Permanent Improvements Committee.

Christina Ruffini, a Moncrief Hall representative, said there is a rivalry for House funds among Greek organizations and by making them raise their own money, the controversy is eliminated.

The bill passed almost unanimously.

AHO received money for their service trip after Zeidman supported the bill, which was amended from $17,760 to $5,920 by the Finance Committee.

“Too few students would benefit from a large percentage of our money,” said Matt Jacobson, a Finance Committee member.

Zeidman argued the bill followed TCU’s mission statement and proposed the bill be amended to $14,208, paying for 12 of the 15 interested students to go.

Treasurer David Watson cautioned the House about taking the $12,508 needed out of the general reserve, which is rarely touched. The rest of the money comes from the special projects fund, according to the bill.

“It nulls and voids the budget by doing things like this,” Watson said.

Representative Jonathan Leer disagreed. “Sometimes we need to forget the budget and think about the TCU mission statement,” Leer said.

The amendment passed and so did the bill.

Delta Sigma Theta’s request for $5,436 to attend their national convention was also amended by the Finance Committee to grant $2,100.

Jonathan Muellner, a Finance Committee member, said that amount gives $300 to each of the sorority’s seven members to attend the convention. The grant depletes the conference and convention fund and takes $500 from the general reserve, Mueller said.

Representative Thomas Guidry opposed the bill and said the House should allocate a set amount to all organizations that request conference funding.

Danisha Egans, a Waits Hall representative, said it is important that the House support both Greek and non-Greek organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta.

The House passed the bill.

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