Financial rule prevents MUSG from granting Fugees funding

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When the Studio 013 Refugees applied for $6,000 in student organization funding earlier this month, a majority of Marquette Student Government’s Student Organization Funding Committee voted in favor of the request.

MUSG’s constitution, however, still prevented the group from receiving the funds.

MUSG Executive Vice President Zach Bowman, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said the SOF Committee voted 4-to-3 in favor, but MUSG financial policies stipulate that an allocation over $2,500 must have five votes in favor to pass, so the request was denied outright.

Fugees Co-President Cassidy Wilson, a senior in the College of Education, said the group is working to bring the Upright Citizens Brigade – an improvisational comedy theater based in New York City and Los Angeles – to campus for an improv show for a couple years.

Because the Fugees are not their own group, but rather a subset of a larger group, they had to apply through their parent organization, the Marquette University Players Society. The Fugees, under the MUPS name, are appealing the funding decision and will include a pricing quote from UCB, who Wilson said is taking $1,000 off its normal price.

“It’s a constitutional policy, and unfortunately in this circumstance, we did not have enough support behind the decision to make it go through,” said Cole Johnson, former MUSG Financial Vice President and a junior in the College of Business Administration, who was serving at the time of the vote.

Johnson said it is relatively rare that a situation arises, and it only occurred “a handful of times” while he was FVP. He also said it is impossible for the SOF Committee to allocate less money to a group when the situation arises because the decision would be completely arbitrary.

Although MUPS applies for funding regularly, the Fugees as a subset of that group did not apply for funding in at least the last four years, Wilson said.

When the Fugees decided to apply for funding this year, MUSG Program Vice President Tyler Tucky, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, advised Wilson and fellow Co-President Jena Wallander, a senior in the College of Nursing, on how to approach the application. Wilson said she found the application simple once they were advised on what the SOF Committee wanted.

Unfortunately for the Fugees, their application did not receive that necessary fifth vote because they did not give enough financial information from UCB, Joseph Donahue said, another co-president and a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Bowman, who also heads the MUSG ad-hoc committee reviewing  SOF procedures, said the two-vote majority rule for large requests is something that the committee is going to consider a recommendation to reform.

“I think that funding is the most confusing thing we do as an organization,” Bowman said. “Most of MUSG doesn’t understand the SOF process, just because they don’t work with it every day like the two or three of us that do. Seeing that makes it clear to understand why student organizations might have a difficult time with the process as well.”

Bowman also said he thinks the resources available to student organizations are completely sufficient for them to complete the process correctly and get funding.

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