Triton Tide Funding Slashed at Lengthy Budget Meeting

    With anticipation for the infamously long-winded A.S. budget meeting building since the day new members faced the ballot box, a collected, determined group tackled the challenge in this week’s meeting.

    During public input, the chairs of college festival programming spoke out against funding cuts to their programs. Alex Miller, chair of Warren Live!, told the councilmembers that they should “”boost up allocation”” to compensate for cuts to college council funding.

    The council smoothly progressed through campus activity fee appropriations with short debates and limited deliberation. However, the council hit a roadblock and fell into old habits less than halfway through, when discussing athletic relations.

    The two line items within this category – mascot and Triton Tide – were merged together to give Triton Tide a budget of $16,400. Several councilmembers proposed cutting $3,000 from Triton Tide to reallocate to college festivals, drawing strong opposition from Triton Tide Director Dave Payne and All-Campus Senator Meghan Clair, among others.

    Hoping to secure another source of funding for the spirit group, Sixth College Senator John Cressey suggested a partnership between Triton Tide and the athletics department, which will see a final budget of around $6 million as a result of the athletics fee referendum. Reading from the council bylaws, Thurgood Marshall College Kyle Samia interpreted Triton Tide’s role to be a public relations branch for the athletics department.

    But Payne and new Associate Vice President of Athletic Relations Stephanie Chang stressed that Triton Tide should remain autonomous. Payne claimed that the fee hike was the “”bare bones”” required to keep athletics teams alive.

    Following her controversial appointment during the previous meeting, Chang told the council to “”leave the athletic department alone.””

    Later, Cressey proposed giving the $3,000 to Student Org Programming Unallocated instead, an idea that gained momentum during the hours spent debating the issue. A majority supported granting the money to SOPU over college festivals, but there was still no consensus as to where the $3,000 would come from. After repeated straw polls, an amendment to transfer $3,000 from Triton Tide to SOPU passed, and Samia quickly followed this progress by looking for another $3,000 to give to college festivals. He proposed cutting the amount from various programming line items.

    Earl Warren College Sentor Peter Benesch streamlined the cuts, proposing that the whole $3,000 come from the $30,000 WinterFest budget. Earlier, WinterFest had come under fire for being the year’s least-attended concert; Vice President of Student Life Donna Bean said it might even be changed into a comedy or lecture event in the future. Surprisingly, Benesch’s amendment passed 22-0.

    The college festivals gained a further $1,000, cut from KSDT radio, only to have it transferred to SOPU after exhaustive, meandering debate.

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