ASUN Johnson 2.19.20

ASUN President Emily Johnson speaks to student fee users during a meeting in the Nebraska Union on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Editor’s note: Editor-in-chief Karissa Schmidt did not contribute to the writing or editing of this story.

Almost all of the chairs at the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska’s meeting Wednesday were taken as University Program and Facilities Fee users awaited the student government’s decision on the future of five different organizations’ funding. 

ASUN passed all five appropriation bills with no amendments. Additionally, senators passed two pieces of legislation related to the Green Bandana Project and Earthstock. Students will vote to approve the allocation during the election March 10-11. 

The most debated proposal was Appropriation Bill 2, which asked ASUN to allocate $159,602 to The Daily Nebraskan, a 5.6% increase from the previous fiscal year. 

Sen. Dylan Dam questioned the budget, specifically the $8,500 set aside for the Curious Cornhuskers initiative and whether it was a service worth increasing student fees for.

“I’m wary of approving [$8,500] for something that’s still unproven,” Dam said. “To me, it personally seems a bit unnecessary.”

Other senators saw value in The Daily Nebraskan’s Curious Cornhuskers service and continued to challenge The Daily Nebraskan to engage with its audience.

“It’s a student-run newspaper for students,” Sen. Kyle Cacciatore said in defense of the cost. “I think that [Curious Cornhuskers] is exactly something that [The Daily Nebraskan] should be addressing.”

Allen Vaughan, The Daily Nebraskan’s general manager, answered senators’ questions and concerns about The Daily Nebraskan’s budget. ASUN passed the bill, despite six dissenting votes.

Appropriation Bill 5, regarding the budget for the Lied Center for Performing Arts, also had representatives at the meeting to clarify reasoning for the 13.5% increase to $210,000.

According to Matthew Boring, associate director of marketing and patron demand for the center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln student attendance at the Lied has tripled over the last nine years.

“Students love this service, and they’re taking advantage of this service,” speaker of the senate Drew Harrahill said. “We should give back to our students.”

ASUN passed the bill, with several senators expressing their support of the Lied Center’s efforts to engage with students.

“The Lied Center does so much through all different types of arts,” Sen. Madeline Reddel said. “It bleeds through all parts of our university.”

Appropriation Bill 1 moved for ASUN to approve its own 11.7% decrease in fiscal year 2020-21. Senate voted to pass the bill, meaning ASUN will receive $518,219 if students vote in favor of this allocation.

Appropriation Bills 3 and 4 also passed, meaning the University Program Council will receive $284,095, and The DailyER will receive $6,400, if approved by the student body. Neither of these cases represent an increase or decrease from the previous fiscal year.

Government Bill 37, which approves a booth to pass out an additional 600 bandanas and resource cards for the Green Bandana Project, passed. The booth will take place in the Nebraska Union from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

Senate Bill 26 also passed, giving ASUN’s support of the upcoming Earthstock, which will be a month-long celebration of Earth Day in April.

The next ASUN meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Platte River Room of the Nebraska Union.

To keep up to date with ASUN’s progress, check out The Daily Nebraskan’s Bill Tracker

This article was modified at 3:58 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, to correct the spelling of Allen Vaughan.