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Editorial: ASUA Senate should try researching club funding requests

Arizona Daily Wildcat,
October 18, 1999

The University of Arizona's Corndog Appreciation Society accomplished two things Wednesday night.

For one, they proved that students are amazingly creative and know how to have a good time. This group of people came together and decided to host a public relations campaign on behalf of the embattled corndog.

"We wanted to give corndogs the appropriate recognition they deserve," said John Holman, a founding member of the Corndog Appreciation Society.

Granted, they have to be joking around. They are, of course, talking about corndogs.

While some students would die for causes they support, we don't see corndogs as a havoc-wreaking issue nor do we believe these students will be putting their lives on the line.

But there's a bigger issue here.

The corndog lovers also proved that the Associated Students spend too much time complaining about financial problems and do not research items on their own agenda.

On Wednesday night, the ASUA Senate approved an initial funding request for the corndoggers during its weekly meeting.

The ASUA Appropriations Board on Monday granted the student-run club $100. The Board chopped the grant down from $238, which was needed for the club's T-shirts.

But Appropriations Board members gave the corndoggers $100 to host Corndog Appreciation Day on the UA Mall. On this holiday, club members will hand out surveys to lucky students. A complete survey wins the student a free corndog.

It's student ingenuity at its best.

It also shows a lack of integrity on ASUA's part.

Two weeks before, the Senate spent 30 minutes debating a funding request from the UA's Camp Wildcat.

According to Camp Wildcat officials, the organization -Øwhich aids underprivileged children -Øneeded $800 to decrease fees that counselors pay to work with the kids.

The Senate went on the attack, thoroughly interrogating the official, asking why he expected ASUA's financial assistance and debating a conversation that occurred during an Appropriations Board meeting.

And then they sent Camp Wildcat away empty-handed.

There's no comparison between the Camp Wildcat situation and the Corndog Appreciation Society's funding issue.

But one should see the injustice that took place on Wednesday night.

ASUA turns down funding requests from various groups all the time. Sometimes they will give half the amount needed. Other times, they will obliterate the request altogether.

Their excuse, generally, is a lack of available funds. That's understandable.

But if funding is so scarce, value judgments must be made about UA clubs and organizations.

If the Turkish Students Association requests funding to help the club raise money for earthquake refugees, it should be ASUA's priority to help the organization.

To spend $100 on the Corndog Appreciation Society, however, is irresponsible at best.

One has to wonder how much research each individual senator did before approving the request. Did they even glance at the Senate agenda or merely go through their weekly motions?

While students on this campus are struggling to raise money to keep their organizations afloat, a start-up club based around corndogs weasels funding out of the student government. Most likely, it's because the senators didn't spend the extra 60 seconds to ask a few questions about the Corndog Appreciation Society.

In the future, it would be wise for the ASUA Senate to question its expenditures before frivolously throwing money at off-beat clubs.

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