Senate to vote on special funding bill for CPAC trip

Bill will allocate $2,300 in hotel fees for College Republicans to attend conservative conference in Maryland

Student Senate added a bill to the agenda during Monday’s meeting, pertaining to the allocation of funds for the College Republicans. Senators opted to set aside $2,300 for students to use while they attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Wednesday through Saturday in National Harbor, Maryland.

The bill, introduced by Finance Director Jorge Herrero Berengue, stipulated the request for funds based on increased student membership in the UW-Eau Claire College Republicans chapter and, as a result, a larger number of students interested in traveling to the event than in previous years. The allocated monies are intended to meet the cost gap created by this membership growth.

The conference serves as an opportunity to “(bring) back both conservative and diverse ideas to share with all interested students,” according to the bill document.

Berengue said the funds will be limited to specific approved uses and cited an estimate that each student would provide $430 of their own money for the trip.

“They’re paying airfare, they’re paying food money,” Berengue said. “This special allocation will be only for the hotel. It is going forward under the understanding that any money not spent on hotels will not be reimbursed.”

Senate passed the bill 20-3-5 with little discussion.

Senator Rashawn Williams was among the three members who voted against the bill. He said it wasn’t a matter of opposing the function of the trip, but, instead, a matter of carefully evaluating the uses of the Special Allocation Fund and determining whether or not its recipients exhausted alternative forms of revenue.

“Tonight I felt like it was last-minute, that we shouldn’t be talking about it. I just need more information. Had they done anything previously to earn money on their own, if they’ve done any type of fundraising?” Williams said. “I don’t think they would have been able to answer them tonight.”

Senate will deliberate on the bill during its next session 6 p.m. Monday in the Dakota Ballroom of the Davies Center.

In addition, six senators were selected by their peers for committee positions.

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