Illinois Student Senate rejects funding regional LGBT meeting

By Michael Logli

The Illinois Student Senate spent a majority of Wednesday night’s meeting discussing an appropriation that would sponsor the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference by giving it $500.

After several failed attempts to negate the resolution or re-send it to the appropriations committee, the measure was defeated by an 13-11 vote.

The conference is an annual event that works to encourage and promote diversity, activism and network development and it features many prominent speakers, said Michael Allen, graduate student. Allen addressed the senate during public comment about the importance of the conference and the benefits of the senate’s support. The conference is held at a different college campus each year and was last held at the University in 2001.

“It’s all about networking and education and getting people excited about the upcoming election season,” he said.

Graduate student and senator Dan Nugent agreed that the conference was a positive event but said that sponsoring it would go against the senate’s by-laws, which state that the senate cannot appropriate money spent on entertainment purposes.

Nugent also said that sponsoring the event would force the student senate to support other causes or to alienate the interests of some students on campus.

“It’s bad policy to support certain subjects and pick and choose who to fund,” Nugent said. “It will just give us problems in the future.”

Other senators argued that it was the senate’s job to be progressive and encourage different views.

“It’s a great opportunity for the University to get its name out there and be progressive,” said Joseph Glenn, junior in LAS and senator.