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UA considers funding proposal

By Cliff Schmidt

Many questions were raised about the Student Activities Funding Proposal at last night's Undergraduate Association meeting. MIT's proposed pornography policy, the presidential search and the Nov. 22 shuttle bus were also discussed.

Under the activities funding proposal, a set number of dollars from each undergraduate's tuition would be diverted directly to the UA's Financial Board for distribution among student activities. The amount would be decided only after the administration has set the increase in next year's tuition, according to UA President Paul Antico '91.

Questions were raised concerning the possibility that the MIT departments, which currently control student activity funding, will not be willing to give up the relatively small amount of funding and, more importantly, the power to decide what student activities are funded. Former UA President Jonathan Katz '90 answered that the departments will have no choice if the proposal is passed by the student body.

Katz also noted that another advantage of the proposal over the current method of "begging" for money from departments is that the chances of students getting needed funding will no longer be based on who they know. Instead, Katz says that funding would be distributed through a more fair and organized process that can always be appealed.

Concerning the complete allocation of student funds to FinBoard, Jason Slibeck '91 pointed out that it would be very important "to keep FinBoard from sinking back into the mire of unfair treatments."

Proposed porn policy

said to be ambiguous

Another issue brought up at the meeting was MIT's proposed pornography policy. Most students found many ambiguous statements and holes in the draft policy.

Chris Coffey '93, a member of the executive board of the UA, listed what he believed to be problems with MIT's proposal.

O+ Who exactly would be in charge of deciding whether a film is considered pornographic material?

O+ Could the standards as stated in the current proposal restrict the showing of some R-rated films?

O+ Will the policy allow for the showing of a pornographic film in a public room if it is reserved for a specific group of students?

O+ A concrete statement of punishment should be included, so that treatment of policy abusers does not subjectively vary.

Coffey added that these points should be brought to the attention of the faculty before they have already made their decisions "so that the students can work with the faculty and not fight them."

The UA is also trying to involve undergraduates in the search for MIT's next president. Katz is working to find ways in which students can suggest qualifications that they would like to see in the next president and general changes that they would like to see in MIT. Katz noted, "More students will be involved [in the selection of the next president] than ever before."

Also, the plan for an airport shuttle bus on Wednesday, Nov. 22, was discussed. The shuttle may have two or three pick-up points in Boston so that students would not have to carry their luggage across the bridge. One or two dollars would be charged for the trip, which would run once an hour in the morning and two or three times an hour in the afternoon.

In order to reduce the risk of overcrowding on the bus, the UA is considering selling tickets in advance.