By Kyle Woosley

Student Government Assocation (SGA) passed an act to allocate $50,000 of the technology grant to the Noel Studio on Tuesday.

SGA is given $100,000 for the technology grant that is handed out every academic year. Half of that has been allocated to Noel Studio each year since 2010 and voted upon by Student Senate.

“Clearly, it’s a huge help for us,” said Russell Carpenter, director of the Noel Studio,. “We just see it as a great way to benefit students.”

The majority of equipment in the studio was on a three-year lease, which was obtained through receiving the technology grant for the past three years, totaling $150,000.

“That effected the decision a little bit because students were like ‘if we don’t have this thing what are we going to do,'” said Terry Masden, information and technology chair on Student Senate.

Masden said the toughest part of the decision was determing whether or not students wanted it.

“Do we fund it for students or for the studio?” Masden said. “That was a major deciding factor.”

The proposal states the information and technology committee, Student Senate and the Information Technology Department “may review the allocated amount each aforementioned academic year.”

“We made it effective for three [years] but made it so it could be evaluated each year,” said Nichole Arbino, senator-at-large on Student Senate. “If the next [committee] decides not to give them so much [money], they can strike it.”

Carpenter said it was an excellent use of the technology grant funding because it’s a “space and initiative that gears to help all students on campus regardless of their major.”

“Obviously we’re pleased and we think it’s a great way to provide students access to technology.” Carpenter said. “Tens of thousands of students visit this place.”

Though it was granted funding, Masden said he hopes the studio looks into other ways of obtaining money through the university.

“As long as we’re continuing the conversation and the expectations are clear, it [funding] shouldn’t be an issue,” Carpenter said.  “I’m confident in what we’re doing and the services we provide to students. I’m confident students will continue to utilize the space.”

Carpenter said Noel Studio will be renewing their three-year lease and hopes to make more additions to the studio itself.

“We think it’s a great use of the funds,” Carpenter said. “We’re here for all students at EKU.”