Senate tries to reinstate Illinites funding

By Paul Biasco

The Illinois Student Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night calling on the University Service Advisory Committee to fund Illinites at or above the previous levels from the 2007-08 school year.

Illinites is a program that offers non-alcoholic events to students looking for an alternative to drinking.

The resolution, which was authored by senator Dan Weber, sophomore in LAS, notes that the cut in funding from student fees severely damages the ability of Illinites to continue an entertaining and popular program.

“This campus has such a notorious reputation for being a strong drinking campus,” Weber said. “(Illinites) is an incredibly important program to keep around.”

The Service Advisory Committee, which decides what to do with student fees, cut the $1.50 student fee which supplied the program $90,000 a year.

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“There’s really not enough on campus for non-drinkers to do,” said Joe Freund, sophomore in Business. “I don’t think (the non-drinking) demographic can be ignored.”

Currently the only funding for Illinites comes directly from the Illini Union Board, which amounts to one-third of past funding.

The reason for the cut from the Service Advisory Committee was low attendance, said Jaclyn O’Day, student body president who served on the Service Advisory Committee last year. O’Day, senior in LAS, also said part of the reason for the cut was that the committee thought money was being misspent.

“They can ignore this resolution as if it never happened,” Weber said. “As representatives of the student body, we believe that Illinites should be funded.”

The resolution, which passed by a 21-9 vote, faced criticism from some senators saying that the senate is not the body to decide how the Service Advisory Committee should spend its money.

“We have a Service Advisory Committee for a reason,” said Justin Umlah, student senator and graduate student.