Pride Alliance gets $500 for ad
Jai Smith, co-director of Pride Alliance, stood in front of the ASUA Senate Wednesday standing out and proud – and asked them to do the same.
His funding request at the UA student government's weekly senate meeting topped $500, 3.04 percent of the senate's total budget, to fund a full-page spread to inform students of the student body's diverse gender identifications and sexual orientations.
More than 5,000 students are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered or questioning on the UA campus, according to Campus Health Service statistics provided by Pride Alliance. The advertisement, which was approved for funding, has 400 people who have agreed to contribute their name in the advertisement, a number that grows every day, Smith said.
""The very fact that I'm standing here says that ASUA supports the LGBTQ community,"" Smith said, as Pride Alliance is an organization under ASUA.
""Saying that groups will come to ask for funding against homosexuality is far drastically different than a group coming to ASUA celebrating diversity,"" he said.
Although its budget rose by $1,000 for the year, Pride Alliance's $500 request was granted in an 8-1-1 vote, with Sen. Jeff Adams voting against and Sen. Dominick San Angelo abstaining.
San Angelo felt 3 percent of the budget so early in the year was a tricky precedent to set for other ASUA groups requesting funding. However, non-voting Sen. Brian Seastone, an honorary ASUA senator from the University of Arizona Police Department, and ASUA President Emily Fritze voiced strong support for the request.
""Sometimes you've got to have the blinders off,"" Seastone said. ""There's the big masses, the little masses and how (your choice) will affect the overall masses.""
The total cost of the advertisement is $2,887.60, with other funding coming from collaborative efforts with the Daily Wildcat, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and the Graduate Student Professional Council pending approval.
The Wildcat has a public service advertising partnership for campus groups and organizations that are charitable or promoting awareness. The Wildcat will match organizations dollar-to-dollar, up to $1,000, if they apply and are approved.
Sen. Taylor Bilby explicitly expressed her support of the request, citing that it's not only about ""what we ought to do"" but that each part of ASUA needs ample consideration.
However, Pride Alliance was only one of several items dealt with at the meeting.
Julia Lovering, whose previous graphic design prowess garnered her the coveted spot, was appointed as a second marketing director.
""I've personally met Julia (Lovering) and I think that she is a great addition to ASUA,"" Sen. Adams said.
Edits to the budget were also made. Due to a typo in August's original budget presentation by Treasurer Kenny Ho, former Sen. Tyler Quillin's allocation as academic affairs director in Fritze's cabinet read $1,000 when its actual amount is $1,500. Ho then offered to remove from his own stipends to correct the difference.
Undergraduate Council members also talked about posting past class syllabuses to help students make informed decisions when registering. They cited that they couldn't post accurate future syllabuses because the teacher may not be selected but could offer archive syllabuses to give a general idea of class expectations.
A bachelor's degree in general studies was introduced. It would mirror the interdisciplinary studies major, but provide a more general education by allowing students to choose a projected 10 tracks such as pre-health, humanities and science. It will be discussed further at the next Undergraduate Council meeting next month.
All consent agenda items from Monday's meeting were approved, and the introduction of chosen aides took place this week in the ASUA office.