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On second thought…

In a night of twists and turns, the Student Government senate overturned last week’s decision and approved the allocation of $30,000 to the Greek Week Committee to fund a concert.

Last week, the senate voted down the allocation by a vote of 17 nays, 16 yeas and 3 abstentions. Tuesday, the senate reversed that decision with a vote of 24 yeas, 17 nays and 2 abstentions.

“I’m glad that they’re willing to let us have this event,” said Adria LaCava, the executive director of Greek Week.

The money is slated for the booking of a nationally recognized band for a concert to be held March 22, the Wednesday night of Greek Week, in the Greek Village. It will be free to all USF students.

Normally, Greek organizations are prohibited from receiving Activity and Service monies because they are dues-collecting groups. Since the money was earmarked specifically for the concert, which will be free and open to all students, the allocation is allowed.

The senate voted a second time on the issue because a motion for a vote of reconsideration was made by senate President Pro Tempore Jeremiah Pederson and approved by the senate.

He said after meeting with members of the Greek Week Committee, he felt that its planning was more sound than he had thought at the previous senate meeting. He voted against allocating the funds at that meeting. The Greek Week Committee presented an 11-page document to senators Tuesday night explaining all aspects of planning that have gone into the concert in an effort to alleviate concerns regarding the planning of the event.

A motion for a vote of reconsideration requires a two-thirds majority senate vote to pass. Abstentions don’t count in the overall vote total when calculating percentages.

The motion for reconsidering the vote eventually passed, but not without some confusion and a change of decision. After all votes were cast, the two-thirds majority required to proceed with the reconsideration fell short, with a vote total of 26-14. Thereafter, senate President Frank Harrison chose to change his vote from an abstention to a yea, and an absentee vote cast by senator Umer Ahmed was found. Those two yea votes put the final tally at 28 yeas, 14 nays and 2 abstentions, officially putting the yeas at exactly the two-thirds necessary for the motion to pass.After the reconsideration motion passed, the senate still had to vote on the $30,000 allocation.Most comments made by senators focused on the same topics presented last week.

Senators in favor of funding the concert touted the idea of a large, free concert for all students and the soundness of the event’s planning. Senators opposed to funding the concert spoke about the large amount of money being allocated and the Greek ties to the event. Some senators said they had unscientifically polled random students during the week with mixed results. Some poll results showed students heavily favoring the concert, while some poll results showed students strongly opposing the concert.

Even after the meeting, some senators were still displeased with the re-vote and the allocation.

“If this wasn’t a Greek event, there is no way it would have come back for a second reading and there is no way it would have passed,” senator Randy Holm said. “It just shows where our Student Government is.”

Other senators were still concerned with the size of the allocation.

“This has nothing to do with Greeks – I don’t care what organization it is,” senator James Cardillo said. “$30,000 is way too much money to be put toward something like this.”Student body President Maxon Victor, who harshly criticized the senate after it voted not to allocate the $30,000 last week, said he was “satisfied” with the new decision.

“Hopefully all will go well,” Victor said. “I should be able to sleep easier.”