* Don’t deny students their rightsThere have been countless nights that, when sitting around with a group of my friends, we have talked about what’s wrong with this school. Almost always, somewhere in the pile of our complaints is an idea that could actually be beneficial for everyone on this campus. And I’ll be honest, it’s my slacker friends who have these ideas. Unfortunately, although my slacker friends have all these great ideas, the potential of these ideas ends with conversation. No one ever does anything. Is it because they don’t know how to go about funding their ideas or is simply because they just don’t care? Truthfully, I think it’s the combination of the two, more so the lack of knowledge about where to go for funding. Interestingly enough, the Students’ Association Senate was confronted with the opportunity to address this recurring problem that so many students face. The Senate had the option to allow any individual student the right to petition their government for some kind of event funding. To my dismay, the option was voted down and individuals were denied the right to seek funding. I was shocked.I really believe an opportunity such as this would provide individual students a way to sidestep all the needless obstacles they have to encounter just to get their idea off the ground. Currently there are no direct means to receive funding besides going through some organization and asking it to sponsor the proposal.With so many students groups on campus, most students would not even know which organization to ask. In addition, even if the student pinpointed which group would most likely support his or her initiative, there is no guarantee that that group’s budget would have room for migrant students in need of funding. These needless hurdles through which a student has to jump to simply ask for funding is enough to make anyone say, “Why bother.” When senate denied students this option, I felt as if it was fostering the excess apathy on this campus. By not providing an easier alternative, senate has done nothing to help lessen the numerous deterrents of student initiative. The few students who have the motivation and the drive should be helped, not hindered by their own SA. Some senators felt that allowing individual students to ask for funding would somehow drain the SA’s piggy bank leaving student groups with nothing. We seem to forget that we are only giving students the opportunity to ask for funds – whether they receive any money is not guaranteed. There obviously should be an established set of standards that these students need to meet in order to ensure their plans are legitimate. If we let these individuals squander money, the fault would lie with the senate for not using good judgment to determine what events are actually meaningful and important.Denying students this option only says in the end that we senators are too incompetent to handle funds or that students are too incompetent to receive funds. None of these messages are true, nor are they statements to be made. So why don’t we trust our own judgment and trust each other. I would like to conclude with a little reminder for my fellow senators that comes from the Senate Web site – “ultimately an SA Senator is a public servant. What this means is that even when an SA Senator strongly disagrees with the majority opinion of his/her constituency, it is the Senator’s duty to carry out the will of the constituency despite personal disagreement.”Students believe their own government will always be subservient to student advocacy. Their beliefs are not wrong and senators need to start using the combination of what students want and their own judgments to make advancements in student life. An advancement such as providing an outlet for student creativity and initiative is definitely needed at this school. Students want and need more opportunities to come together without all the administrative red tape. As a student-serving organization, it should be senate’s first priority to provide alternative methods to circumvent these unnecessary politics that students have to confront when trying to turn an idea into a reality. We are here to improve student life – not make it more complicated. Denying students the opportunity to ask for funds is definitely not an improvement for student life. It’s a set back. Dixon can be reached at kdixon@campustimes.org.

* Be smart about using SA resourcesOver the past few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of advertisements on the campus walls. In the tunnels, I read that there’s going to be a Bowling Night and was reminded that I haven’t bowled in years. While waiting for the bus outside of the ITS center, I learned that there was a general interest meeting for the Table Tennis Club. Does anyone even play ping-pong any more? The answer, it seems, is yes. Finally, while waiting for the elevator up to my dorm room, I noticed some information about a meeting for Mini-Baja accompanied by a picture of something that resembled a dune buggy and found out that I wasn’t entirely sure what a Baja was – the peninsula in western Mexico? – much less what a miniature version of it would be. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are a multitude of groups and organizations on this campus that cater to an even greater number of tastes and appreciations.That being said, there is a movement flowing through student government – your elected representatives – that would grant anyone who pays the Students’ Association fee supplemental funding. In other words, there are SA Senators who want to give money to individual students who can use the money in any way they deem fit. What’s wrong with that, you might ask? Students pay into the SA, they elect most of the people who run our little government, so why shouldn’t they be allowed to receive something in return?And why not? Sure, it might be a bit too generalized, doesn’t take into account factors like practicality and responsibility, and might be overly idealistic, but what does that matter as long as that’s what the students want – as declared vis–vis their elected officials? Let’s see, and my apologies if this gets boring.The SA uses a constitution to outline the general rules regarding who gets money. To spare you the tedious details, believe me when I say individual funding does not bode well with these established guidelines. This is why there are groups that are SA recognized, but not SA funded. They violate these rules and therefore don’t get our money. More than this, Students’ Association Appropriation Committee and the government are not well suited to deal with groups outside of its system, as there are neither controllers that service individuals nor accounts from which their supplements, should they be granted, would come. Lastly, aside from these problems, there’s no good system in place for single students to be held accountable for the money they receive. The system has very few controls in place for an individual who receives funding, and that supplemental requests are too vague to ensure that the money is spent according to SA guidelines. One could argue that these are sufficient reasons why the Student Activities Fee is only allocated for the activities of student groups.But then again, these can only be minor problems on the road to giving the students what they want, right? After all, what about all the potential activities that don’t happen because there’s no student group that will host them? If you ignore the fact that there are about 150 groups that are funded in some way by the SA, each one capable of receiving money for just about anything, then the above question makes sense. What about the student that wants to organize a bowling night? How about the one that wants to play ping-pong with his friends? And let’s not forget the one that wants to build a little dune buggy. Wait… I would argue that one would be hard pressed, if not find it almost impossible, to imagine a situation that wasn’t absurd where a single undergraduate could provide a benefit to student activities that one, does not already exist, and two, wouldn’t be better suited or appropriate to be

carried out by a group already recognized. However, this seems to be what the “students” want, and by students, I mean the senators they’ve elected.I’m going to go out on a limb here – and forgive me if I offend anyone – but the student body is smarter than this and can identify a bad idea when they see a bad idea. Clearly, giving individuals SA supplemental in this manner breaks rules, is impractical and undermines many of the reasons why student government exists. If any of you are at all concerned about this, find your senators and let them know. Tell then what the students really want. Battenhausen can be reached at dbattenhausen@campustimes.org.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

Dinner for Peace was an unconventional way of protesting for Palestine

The dinner showcased aspects of Palestinian culture. It was a unique way of protesting against the genocide, against the Israeli occupation, against the university’s involvement with the genocide.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.