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Group plans to finalize cultural board structure

A group of students and administrators are finalizing their plans to implement a cultural programming board, which has been allocated more than $30,000 to bring diverse programs to the University.

The board will be composed of students and administrators, and will report to William W. Harmon, vice president for student affairs.

The project will be subsidized by the increase in the comprehensive fee, Harmon said.

The comprehensive fee is a required charge for all students, and is included in the yearly tuition bill. Newcomb Hall Director Eddie Daniels is part of a group that will propose bylaws and other board structural issues to Harmon.

Daniels said he expects the group to present their proposals to Harmon by next week, after which Harmon said he will appoint members to the board.

"The board will be centered around two components, including providing cultural programming for the University, and providing funding for existing [Contracted Independent Organizations] who have programming ideas but don't have funds to implement them," he said.

A cultural programming board existed previously as a division of Student Council, but students and administrators said the board should be independent.

"Student Council is not a programming body," Council Executive Vice President Ronnie Washington said. "It is ill-equipped to handle the [board], because Council is more of a policy recommending body."

Daniels said because there are separate funds allocated for this purpose, the board will function more smoothly. "There is a definite need for more cultural programming, and it has been clear that there is a need for more funds, especially for smaller groups," he said.

Council Communications Director Brooke Brower said he hopes the board will be more than just a supplemental appropriations process for organizations that were not sufficiently funded by Council.

He said the board should be an additional resource for cultural organizations on top of the money allocated by Council members.

"Thirty-thousand dollars to $35,000 is not a lot of money," he added. "Hopefully with the individual CIOs we can expand their programming."

Brower said the board might run into problems distinguishing what constitutes a cultural program.

Asian Student Union President Stephanie Hsu concurred.

"Culture is such a broad term, it is hard to draw the line by its very name," Hsu said.

Many organizations feel the board is a positive step for programming at the University.

"It still needs some focus, but overall [the board] is a good idea," Black Student Alliance Co-President Kazz Pinkard said.


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