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UAC Cuts Voodoo's Funding, Approves Logan Finals Shuttle

By Dan McGuire
News Editor

The Undergraduate Association Council held its last meeting of the term Wednesday evening, approving an amended version of the Finance Board recommendations for spring term funding for student activities and an airport shuttle during finals week.

After some debate, the council voted to approve an amended version of the Finboard recommendations. UA Vice President Dedric A. Carter '98 made a motion to give Voodoo $1,600 for the spring term rather than the $2,400 allotted by Finboard. The motion passed 126.

The motion came as council members debated whether Voodoo would make good use of the money allocated to it.

"Voodoo has not come out all this term," said Edward A. Gordon '99, a member of Finboard. "Over half of the people on campus, freshmen and sophomores, have never seen more than two or three issues of Voodoo Voodoo can do better," he said.

"I think that the money that we're giving them is keeping [Voodoo] from dying when it should die. It's a lot of money that could be going to other groups," said council member Natalie Tal '99.

Carter said that the amount of money given to Voodoo could be increased after discussions between the UA and Voodoo staff. In the meantime, the UA Executive Committee could issue emergency funds if the need arose, Carter said.

Campus publications discussed

The debate over the future of Voodoo's funding evolved into a discussion of how much money student publications need from the UA.

Voodoo, along with Counterpoint and The Thistle, are at least partially dependent on UA funds, while The Tech is self-sufficient. "These are larger-scale policy issues that we should deal with in council," Carter said.

"Voodoo used to be funded a lot - almost $4,000 to $5,000 a year. The UA decided to match them dollar for dollar for ads. The idea was to generally make them self-sufficient," said UA Treasurer Russell S. Light '98.

Some students said that advertising revenue was difficult to get because of competition between campus publications.

"It's really hard to get ads because The Tech takes all of them," said Jeremy D. Sher '99, the former publisher of Counterpoint. "The ad market is very tight on this campus if we're dependent on the ad market, we're going to have a lot of problems," he said.

Several council noted the disparity between the funds given to Voodoo and those given to other publications. The Thistle and Counterpoint, received only $300 and $700, respectively. "The funding for Voodoo would be changed to $1,600 until Voodoo approaches the council to explain what they need the additional money for," said UA Floor Leader Norris Vivatrat '99.

UA approves airport shuttle

The UA approved a plan to organize and fund a free shuttle service between MIT and Logan Airport during finals week.

The proposal, brought forward by Stephanie M. Zielenski '98, IFC representative to the UA, would have a bus run from three locations on the MIT campus - East Campus, McCormick Hall, and Next House - to Logan every hour and a half.

The shuttle is slated to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Wednesday, Dec. 18 to Saturday, Dec 21. The shuttle will cost $2,544.

"This is the kind of stuff that the UA should be doing," said UA Secretary General Jeb E. Keiper '99, "We should go with the best possible option."

In other business, Wesley T. Chan '00, Angela C. Chen '00, William J. Melendez Diaz '00, and Scott K. Hiroshige '00 were confirmed as members of the election commission. They will help organize spring elections for the UA.

Gordon was also elected unanimously to head the revived Committee on Student Life.

A proposal by Class of 2000 President Sandra C. Sandoval '99 to allocate $1,000 as the first step in holding a campus unity week during the first two weeks in February was tabled to allow organizers more time to talk with those involved and the other organizations that may be funding the event.

The proposed week would feature presentations by campus cultural and social groups and would be designed to "break down the barriers between groups," Sandoval said.