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Student Congress allocates $9,000

Jan. 23, 2004

By Rachel Hartgen, reporter

Student Congress approved a $9,000 allocation Thursday evening to increase funding and advertising for the 2004 Beta Upsilon Chi Island Party.

'People love this event, and it keeps getting more popular, ' Natalie Cook, legislative secretary and Katy sophomore, said. 'We should support this bill.'

Total costs for the event are estimated at $19,500, up $1,000 from last year. Student Congress annually supports the event, but increased its allocation to accommodate BYX's rising band costs.

The party attracted 2,500 people last year, but BYX hopes to top that number with increased promotion through Waco churches and T-shirt sales. The party plans to headline two Christian artists along with local bands and promise free food to any who attend wearing a BYX Island T-shirt, David Cook, BYX vice president and community affairs chair said.

Jeff Leach, student body president and Plano junior, urged Student Congress members Thursday to create innovative events to appeal to students. Leach said too few students are attending university-funded, campuswide events, and that could mean the elimination of the Student Life Fund, the budget allocated for student events.

The problem resurfaced after Monday night's Jack Ingram concert, sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, attracted an audience of approximately 450 people. Student Congress assisted the event with a $13,000 allocation that roughly calculated to be $30 per person to attend the event. Leach said that number has administration and Student Council worried.

'We are planning great events, but students aren't showing up,' Leach said. 'That's a problem.'

Leach continued to express his concern about low student involvement by citing a prayer event last semester in which only five students attended.

Student Congress had allocated $2,500 to the event which calculated to be $500 for each person who attended.

In addition, Student Congress passed a resolution to allocate $3,500 from the Student Life Fund to the National Pan-Hellenic Council to fund Greek 101, an event to be held in mid-February.

This event will feature national speaker Walter Kimbrough to speak on the history and purpose of African-American fraternities and sororities.

'There is a myth about black Greeks, and not much known about their history,' Aubrey Palmer, student life representative and Longview junior, said. '(Greek 101) should tell more what we're really all about.'

Approval for the bill came only after Jimmy Mitchell, finance chair and Porterville, Calif. junior, added an amendment to bill requiring the National Pan-Hellenic Council to advertise the event several weeks in advance for fear of minimal attendance. They hope to attract around 350 students.

'I'm skeptical about filling the place up for a first time event,' Kristin Kan, an arts and sciences representative and Arlington senior, said.

Also on the agenda Thursday evening, Student Congress tabled a bill to allocate $1,300 to Phi Iota Alpha to fund a women's soccer tournament.

Linda Ricks, Baylor Dining Services marketing program manger, urged Student Congress members to express their views and suggestions to the 2004 Food Advisory Council, and hinted at upcoming changes to student meal plans and costs.

'There will be more plans to choose from, and they will be more flexible,' Ricks said.

Ricks said there will be some price changes, but specifics couldn't be disclosed.