In a tense budget hearing Monday night, a handful of ASWSU senators recommended that SEB's request for funding 100 copies of Ryan Leaf's book be overturned.
If the recommendation passes in next week’s senate meeting, the funding for the books will be taken out of SEB’s Springfest budget and be transferred into the senate supplemental programming fund.
The debate centered on whether the senate would have approved the request on Wednesday if members had known SEB was willing to take the funding for the books from the Springfest budget as a last resort.
SEB Director Brian Logan said he was unaware during the Wednesday senate meeting that his advisory board had come up with a contingency plan for funding the books, and said SEB should not be penalized for a slight miscommunication.
Logan reminded senate members that SEB reaches thousands of students each year.
“I think you’ll be very hard-pressed to find another organization – especially a student-led organization – that makes that big of an impact on campus,” he said.
Logan said he was unhappy that the senate was trying to “steal” SEB’s funding, and he was frustrated with the recommendation.
“My frustrations lie in that we did our best to get them the most accurate information at the time, and at the time, given the information, they thought it was a good idea to give the books out,” he said.
District 9 Sen. Charlie Hammerich placed the single vote against the recommendation.
“The fact that we’re thinking about penalizing an organization where you can’t find who was at fault, like there’s no proof that someone was really purposefully miscommunicating … it’s not right,” he said.
District 6 Sen. Joey Pacific said he did not view the recommendation as penalizing SEB.
“The fact of the matter is that student dollars were spent without full knowledge, and I don’t think that we should be giving money without full knowledge,” he said. “And we are responsible ultimately to the students to spend that correctly.”
District 1 Sen. James Cockburn made the recommendation.
He said when the senate voted on the funding, members did not have enough information to make an informed decision. If they had known SEB was willing to take it out of the Springfest budget, it could have changed the vote, he said.
“I wanted to give the senate a chance to reconsider giving the funds to SEB,” he said.
Cockburn said he does not view the recommendation as a punishment, but as a correction. He said he does not think SEB tried to mislead the senate, but he would rather have the funds available to other organizations that may need it more.
He wants to ensure the senate is spending students’ money responsibly and equitably, he said.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance,” he said. “I wish it hadn’t occurred."