ASUSU gives frat leaders $1,750 for training session
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 13:01
The ASUSU Executive Council voted in a nearly split decision Tuesday to give $1,750 to a small group on campus.
Ryan Johnson, recently elected president of the Inter-Fraternal Council, petitioned for Utah State capital and support funding so he and three members of the council could go to an annually held IFC training in Indiana. Johnson said the training was necessary for his council members to become better leaders in their positions and eventually better leaders on campus.
“There’s a high percentage of Greek members that are part of ASUSU, that are a part of the Utah State University Ambassadors, which is the recruiting body for the university,” Johnson said. “We have college senators. We have government relations participants, so the Greek community is heavily involved within the entire university.”
However, several members of ASUSU didn’t immediately feel the bill was a wise way to spend the already slim university funds. Zachary Portman, the ASUSU graduate studies senator, voted the bill down because he felt it was short on details and reasoning.
“One of the big motivating factors for me is if somebody who I represent, who is a grad student, comes up to me and asks me how or why I voted on something I want to be able to answer in good faith, and I think the typical grad student wouldn’t support that funding,” Portman said.
Riley Bradshaw, the ASUSU engineering senator, said he nearly voted the bill down because he felt wary about granting a large sum to a small group of students.
“I had some misgivings about it because I think that a valid point was brought up that it is a large sum of money that benefits few students directly,” Bradshaw said. “Capital and support is set up to where preference is given to initiatives that will directly impact a large number of students.”
Bradshaw said one of the reasons he nearly voted against the bill was because it was originally unclear whether or not the fraternities around campus were actively supporting it or not.
“The reason why I was hesitant to vote for it at first was that it didn’t look like the individual fraternities had pledged support to it,” Bradshaw said. “If it wasn’t something that they could put financial support to then I would have felt uneasy giving it our financial support.”
Bradshaw said his decision was made once the terms of the bill were cleared up. He said the benefits of long-term student leadership skills would help campus more than the price of the trip.
Jordan Hunt, president of the academic senate and sponsor of the bill, said he supported and sponsored it after seeing how much they could gain from the training.
“I decided to sponsor the bill for Ryan and the IFC because I’ve seen what it’s like to be a small and new organization, and it’s really difficult to have this mandate and to have to figure it out all on your own,” Hunt said.
Hunt said the recently formed Utah State IFC and its leaders would have struggled greatly or even sunk without support from the university.
“It’s important that we are able to invest in this organization to make sure that, from the get go, they have a strong foundation and that they have the ability to be the leadership organization they need to be,” Hunt said.
The IFC and its sister group, the Panhellenic Council, were both created as governing branches of the Greek Council this year.
Johnson and the IFC representatives received $1,750 from the university and an additional $450 from the fraternities around campus for a trip on Jan. 26-31. Any future trips will, according to Johnson, be funded by the IFC.