By Travis Reynolds

Today, tens of thousands of dollars only go so far. And with robots to present, foreign food to buy, conference trips to fund and an AIDS Memorial quilt to rent, the student senate had its hands full of tough decisions.The Student Government Association’s organizational funding meeting proved Tuesday how quickly big bucks can become no bucks when only 12 out of 35 groups received a slice of an almost $25,000 pie.

In fact, SGA’s funds ran dry with 23 organizations left unconsidered.

Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society, requested $15,781 in organizational funding to sponsor a trip to New York City for a writers’ conference. The student senate voted to approve three separate cuts into the requested funds.

“This money is not going just for the 28 students (hoping to attend the conference). This is one of the most prestigious conferences in all of North America,” Sponsoring Senator Tyler Blythe said. “This is about representing EKU.”

Student senate granted Sigma Tau Delta $9,092 to help pay for the trip.

Other organizations, such as the Pride Alliance, received the full amount of their requests. As the first to be considered for funding, the Pride Alliance netted $845 to bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to Eastern in honor of World AIDS Day. The quilt, an ongoing worldwide art project, depicts the lives lost to AIDS in the form of a more than 40,000-square-feet quilt displayed in portions.

But the next group to be considered did not receive its requested funds. The Black Union asked for $500 to bring a guest speaker to campus for Black History Month, but the student senate voted against providing the money because it said the request would be better suited for SGA’s Diversity Grant.

Next came the International Student Association and a request of $1599.02 to help pay for the International Banquet.The ISA walked away with every penny it wanted.

After the Sigma Tau Delta debates, the Exercise and Sports Science Association received $1,094 to send some of its members to two conferences.

The Korean Student Association, which received the first appropriations at last April’s meeting, pocketed only $100 out of the $480 it requested. The group intended to use that money to pay for a Korean New Year celebration scheduled for Dec. 15th.

Following the Korean Student Association, Epsilon Sigma Pi netted $2,600 out of the $7,720 it had requested to cover a conference trip and various EMS Week activities. Those activities include awareness programs for how to deal with emergency medical situations.

The EKU Middle School Association snagged $3,700 out of its requested $6,300 to cover yet another national conference, this one in Houston. The conference covers professional development for those pursuing teaching careers.

By the time the Environmental Health Sciences Club came up for consideration, SGA’s organizational funding well had dried below the $10,000 mark. Still, the EHS Club received $2,075, more than half of the $4,122.50 its budget requested.

Number 11 on SGA’s list, the National Association of Industrial Technology, received $1,200 to help pay for parts and transport for the group’s home-built robot. The device is to be displayed at a conference in Panama City, Fla.

The next two groups on the list, Alpha Pi Sigma and Lambda Alpha Epsilon from the Corbin campus, had a unified purpose. The two groups share office space with an adviser, and requested $319.99 for an open hutch for the office and $163.99 for a new filing cabinet.

With less than $500 left to allocate, the Student Senate voted to deny Alpha Pi Sigma’s request. Lambda Alpha Epsilon, on the other hand, received the full amount its budget suggested.

In what would turn out to be the last funding given out that night, Senate awarded the student athletic trainer’s association $280 to pay for the group’s gasoline on the way to a conference in Atlanta, Ga. The association had requested $7919.28 for the trip. The $280 it received left the SGA with less than $10 of organizational funding.

Unlike last year’s divided funding sessions, Tuesdays’ appropriations meeting will be the only organizational funding meeting for SGA this semester. The next one will occur in February.