Student senate sponsors Midwest Ally Conference

By Michael Logli

The Illinois Student Senate, after extensive debate, passed an appropriation that will give a $1,000 sponsorship to the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference.

The appropriation originally failed at the Nov. 14 meeting because of concerns about conflicts with the bylaws. However, it was rewritten to comply with the bylaws and eliminate any other controversy.

The original appropriated amount was also doubled from $500 because the senate wanted to give as much support as possible, said Justin Randall, student body president and senior in LAS.

However, some senators were still concerned about the resolution because the event could be considered political and the senate generally does not sponsor political events, said Justin Ulmah, graduate student and senator.

“We are not the funding body on campus, the Student Organization Research Fee is,” Ulmah said, “We do not fund outside events.”

Other senators argued that funding this conference would commit the senate to sponsor a conference from the opposing viewpoint or that the conference would not agree with the interests of all students on campus.

Supporters of the appropriation argued that this event would be a great way to get the senate involved with students from other colleges and with sympathizers in the community.

Gerald Charleston, graduate student and senator, said that the conference was the best time to break the senate’s tradition of not funding similar conferences.

“If we’re really about being the voice of the community and student body, then we need to do something,” he said. “Otherwise, we are just a bunch of people who sit around and argue for two to three hours a week.”