Student Congress Goes After UNC College Republicans

Chapel Hill- In a seemingly shocking move, the UNC Student Congress voted to cut the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College Republican’s budget from last year by 75% in one fell swoop.

On Tuesday August 27, 2013, the UNC College Republicans appeared in front of the Student Congress Finance Committee to request an allocation of funds from Student Congress for the upcoming semester. The money (about $8,000) would have covered most of the expenses of two speakers: Katie Pavlich and Ann McElhinny.

Katie Pavlich is a New York Times number one best seller, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up, and editor of Townhall.com. She is extremely well known for her heated debates against Piers Morgan both in studio and on Twitter regarding gun control. Ms. Pavlich was expected to come speak on current gun issues on campus and across North Carolina

Ann McElhinny is the co-producer, along with her husband, of the movie FrackNation, and known for her work in exposing the hypocrisy of the environmental movement in her previous documentary Mine Your Own Business. Ann is known for her confrontational style and ability to discuss the issue across both ideological lines.

College Republican treasurer Amy Ellmers was there to present the budget in front of Student Congress. After giving her presentation on the budget, she was asked to defend the $8,000 allocation the College Republican Executive Board had request from student congress. Despite the repeated attempts to remind the Finance Committee about the previous successes, including the more than $12,000 spent on procuring the John Stossel and Howard Dean debate, in which close to 600 people came, and Stossel filmed his show for Fox News in the Great Hall the next day, Student Congress arbitrarily cut funding to $3000.

Chair of the College Republicans Peter McClelland and Student Congress member broke down the numbers for the Carolina Review. “The average cut from people that received funds on Tuesday was 14.6%. The Median cut was 4.7%.” He continued, “Our cut was 62.2% from our request. The numbers for last year’s annual appropriations are not readily available on the Congress website, but we had about $12,500, which means this is $24.72% of what was appropriated to us the last time we appeared before Congress.” That constitutes a 75.28% cut! He concluded, “even adjusted to a semester basis, it is a pittance of what was allocated before, 49.44% of per semester allocations.”

The question remains as to why did Student Congress cut most of their funds, even after all the successes of the College Republicans.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Student Congress Goes After UNC College Republicans

  1. Lee

    Out of curiosity, how does the College Dem budget compare to the College Republican budget? Did it also get cut?

  2. Matthew

    This whining means nothing if we don’t know the average amount given to each group and how much the congress had to give out. With budget cuts and variable alumni donations year to year there is no way to guarantee that any club will get the amount of money they want, even if you did get the amount you wanted last year. Maybe other clubs asked for more, but previously had ask for little and they thought it was their turn to have big events. If you want me to feel empathetic to your slight, give me more data that shows you are being unfairly appropriated money. Don’t give me the percent yours and the average everybody elses was cut. It means literally nothing. Ex. You asked for 8000 and everybody else asked for on average 3500. Thats an average cut of 16% to everybody and 63 percent cut to you. Everybody still got the same amount of money that was available to give in a fair way. Thats probably not what happened but I could come up with countless scenarios and reasons why you might have received such a big cut and it was still probably fair to everybody else. And hey a thought republicans were all for cutting deficits by cutting spending. This is what lowering tax rates will get you if you want to lower them and at the same time reduce the deficit.

    • John

      *This is what lowering tax rates will get you if you want to lower them and at the same time reduce the deficit AND the ruling political party has it out for your organization so they reduce your organization’s funding by a noticeably bigger percentage .

      Fixed!

  3. First of all, comparing annual budget numbers to semester appropriations is a very unreliable comparison. Annual budget appropriations are requests for an entire year’s worth of events and other costs clubs incur; semester appropriations represent only about 5 months worth of costs. Secondly, the CR request was cut in the 2nd biggest percentage in part because it was the 2nd largest request last night. The reality of UNC Student Congress Finance Committee is that we don’t have enough money to fund everything, and we try to make our appropriations as widespread and helpful as we can. Part of this process is cutting large requests so that there will be money there in a few weeks when other groups’ requests are heard. The only group who requested more money last night was UNControllables, who requested about $15,000 and received only $4,000. We cut their request down from 5 speakers to one. As much as I appreciate the irony of an anarchist group and conservative group requesting more money than anyone else on a given night from Student Government, the reality is that that means that most likely those groups will be cut the most-not because of their political leanings or missions, but because by definition the largest requests have the most to lose in the funding process. However, even though CR funding was cut by 5000 dollars last night, the amount received was just over $3,000 dollars. That isn’t nothing, and is actually about 30% more than the average amount groups received last night. No discrimination took place, and it is sad to see again that Student Congress can’t function around policy actions without devolving to accusations of discrimination and unfair bias. We should be better than this.

    • mycaruba

      While I do feel somewhat open about my position on this matter, I do feel that Congress, and even more UNC, has a discrimination towards conservative voices. From Representative Austin Root’s bias against Tar Heel Rifle and Pistol (which was featured on this site in the spring), to the harsh treatment of a pro-life organization last spring, which include their anti-abortion display being vandalized by those who disagree with it (http://studentsforlife.org/2013/04/23/theft-profanity-and-pro-aborts-at-unc-chapel-hill/), it is easy to see how the writer and the College Republicans feel hostile towards this action.

    • John

      It’s only discrimination if the YD’s and other political organizations representing the left side of the spectrum get similar cuts. So far both CR and UNControllables have been cut. I would only assume that the YD’s will receive similar treatment.

      • Fred

        You shouldn’t assume two opposite political groups on campus should be treated equally, because that’s not how student funding is supposed to be split up. If the College Republicans have an active year- bringing in big name speakers and other events that will be enjoyed by literally thousands of students- than Student Congress should be giving them a relatively large amount of money that reflects that. If that same year, the Young Democrats offer almost no activities, no speakers, and don’t anticipate engaging more than 50 UNC students, Student Congress should not automatically award them a large amount like the conservative group got. Funding depends on several factors, but primarily, what will the money be spent on and how many UNC students will benefit from it? So you cannot compare different groups unless you know what they are proposing to do with the money, and how many students they reasonably expect their activities to engage.

    • Matt Boland

      “No discrimination took place”…..yeah, right. I can see right through that one. This was a large request, I’ll give you that. The CR’s requested $8,000 in funding that would’ve gone to cover the cost of well-known conservative speakers. The fact remains that over sixty-two percent of that money was cut by the committee. That’s a legitimate point, which cannot be spun no matter how you try. And why was this funding request cut so severely? It’s because the committee apparently is quite biased on the part of Democrats. Let’s call a spade a spade…..if some big liberal speaker were scheduled to come to the campus, do you think for a second that the committee would not fully fund the CD’s? And they have the nerve to say “oh, this is what lowering tax rates will get you”. It’s complete bias, and the members of the committee should be ashamed of themselves.

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  6. Fred

    @John, and sorry, in my above post I mean’t we shouldn’t assume they should be *funded* equally. They should be treated equally in the sense that Student Congress applies the same standards and rules to all groups equally.

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  8. Doug Wagner

    Conor, the money used to finance these efforts was brought forward through tuition payments. While I cannot speak for the anarchists, as far as the conservative movement goes, if you won’t refund their money, why should they not use this duly authorised funding to bring speakers to campus? Ironic? Hardly. Confusing to someone who has a lot to learn? Certainly.

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  12. Pingback: Press Release: UNC College Republicans Funding Cut by Student Congress - North Carolina Federation of College Republicans - Just another College Republican National Committee site

  13. Pingback: Press Release: Student Congress Goes After UNC College Republicans - North Carolina Federation of College Republicans - Just another College Republican National Committee site

  14. Pingback: UNC Student Congress Stifles Republican Voices - North Carolina Federation of College Republicans - Just another College Republican National Committee site

  15. Pingback: UNC College Republicans Funding Cut by Student Congress - North Carolina Federation of College Republicans - Just another College Republican National Committee site

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