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Funding debate to be settled tonight

By Melody Hanatani

Feb. 8, 2004 9:00 p.m.

The dispute between the Jewish Student Union and the
undergraduate student government regarding JSU’s appeal for
additional funding will be settled tonight by the Judicial Board
when both parties meet for the hearing in the UCLA Anderson School
of Management.

This is the first time since 2000 an Undergraduate Students
Association Council case of this magnitude will be opened to the
public.

JSU filed an appeal alleging it did not receive adequate council
funding from the base budget due to what it believes to be narrow
criteria used by the Budget Review Committee in reviewing
JSU’s proposal.

In 2000, the Interfraternity Council lost a similar case to the
Undergraduate Students Association Council on funding
allocations.

“This will give students the opportunity to get a feel for
how the judicial branch of the student government works,”
said Chief Justice Mark Belgen.

Both sides spent the weekend preparing for the case.

Finance Committee Chair Priscilla Chen met with External Vice
President Matt Kaczmarek to provide the BRC arguments for
tomorrow’s hearing. Kaczmarek will represent USAC.

JSU President Gideon Baum said he has reviewed all the
argumental briefs filed by both sides in preparation for
tonight’s hearing.

Both parties said they are looking forward to resolving the
issue.

Baum believes regardless of the decision made tonight, JSU has
already “won” the case because of the awareness the
case has raised about the USAC funding process.

“We brought attention to an issue we were unhappy with,
which is the politicization of a budget process that leads to
unfair results and handicaps groups like ourselves,” Baum
said

The case raised concerns about the legitimacy of the funding
allocation process and has been called “politicized” by
both leaders of JSU and one councilmember. Allegations have been
made that funding is allocated on slate lines. Slates are
coalitions of students with similar ideologies that help each other
win seats on council.

BRC members have refuted the allegations and said certain groups
received more funding because the quality of their proposals were
better than those of other groups.

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Melody Hanatani
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