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LDPB defends decision to deny funding orgs.

April 24, 2008

The proposed annual budget from the Leadership Development and Programming Board (LDPB) was rejected for the first time ever at the Senate meeting April 8.

  The budget had denied funding for three organizations, including the Greek organizations.

  According to LDPB, the board distributes allocatable funds to organizations for events and follows UW-System policy.

  In previous years, the money allocated has been based on travel, according to LDPB chairman, Mike Defenbaugh. Now, there is a new policy.

  “The exact words for Greek funding is that we should not be funding any student organization that is deemed a recruitment of members, selection, marketing, or promotion of an individual or group of student organizations,” Defenbaugh said.

  Since the Greek organizations collect membership dues and hold what are thought to be Greek-only events, they are considered an exclusive organization that does not qualify for funding.

“We’re following a strict policy. The budget is handled responsibly and they want money for rituals and other things they have left undisclosed,” Becca Piene, board member of LDPB said.

  The denied requests left Greeks with questions.

  Benjamin Casper, the Greek Senator, was in favor of funding the Greeks.

  “It’s a bunch of crap. Just because we charge dues they think we don’t need funding. There are very few organizations on campus that don’t charge dues,” he said. “We do more than any other organization on campus. We’re just as non-profit as any other organization. Most of the money is out of our own pockets. All the money made goes back to the fraternity or the school.”

  “I find it to be a disheartening issue because it is not about Greek funding, it is about passing this budget,” Piene said. “It is disheartening for the board [LDPB] to be turned down.”

  Casper, of Delta Theta Sigma, is one of three Greek voting members on the Senate. Piene, among others, believes there is a conflict of interest within the Senate.

  “They had their [Greek] letters on the day of the proposal,” Piene said in support of her belief in a bias Senate.

  Defenbaugh said he believed it was handled unethically and that it was personal.

  “At 12-6, it still wouldn’t have passed if the Greek members didn’t vote,” Casper said. “There may be a slight conflict of interest but even some non-Greek members think we should be funded.”

  LDPB has the choice to appeal the budget directly to the Chancellor if they feel that the student senate is incapable of handling such a decision, but they chose not to.

  “[LDPB] thought it to be in the student’s and the Senate’s best interest to consider the Senate’s recommendations and keep it at the student level,” Piene said.

  LDPB’s new budget passed Tuesday, which means that the appeal process can now begin. The appeal process involves Senate and LDPB.