Tempe USG approves $14,000 of funding for annual dance marathon

Tempe Undergraduate Student Government approved thousands of dollars of funding to support a Phoenix Children's Hospital fundraising event during its Tuesday meeting.

Senate Bill 38, which was passed during the meeting, will fund $14,340 to the 12-hour ASU Dance Marathon on Feb. 27. All funds from the event will benefit the Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Multiple senators argued that one of the line items, funding $1,500 to create fanny packs as an incentive for people to donate more money, was unnecessary and "not crucial" to the general event.

The marathon requires a $10 registration fee to join, but as incentives, participants who raise an extra $10 and $20 will receive a free T-shirt and fanny pack, respectively.

W.P. Carey School of Business Senator Julie Chase, who sponsored the bill, argued funding the fanny packs is necessary in order for the organization to attract more students from different organizations around campus and ultimately reach their funding goal of $60,000.

"When you're talking about all these clubs working together, it really brings that Sun Devil Pride, that Sun Devil Spirit which, I think, sometimes, our campus can be lacking," she said.

Chase said she feels like most other students, herself included, want their Student Activity Fee spent on inclusive events such as the dance marathon, and the Senate should take that into account.

"When looking at where the Student Activity Fee should be going, I think we should be spending the money on funding events," she said. "Obviously, funding events doesn't mean anything if no one goes and if a fanny pack gets more people there, I think that's something that we should recognize."

Brandon Bishop with the ASU Dance Marathon Student Organization said the extras such as T-shirts and fanny packs get participants excited about the event and make them want to donate their money to a good cause.

"If people are just paying their registration fees, they'd still raise a good amount of money, but if you pay $10 for the shirt and an extra $10 for the fanny pack, that's more money for Phoenix Children's Hospital and it makes ASU come out in a better image," he said. "When you go out into our community, people think of us as just another party school that doesn't care about anyone else, but (then) they see us going out to make our community better."

Tempe USG President Issac Miller said senators should remember their previous decisions in regard to funding bills when discussing and voting on current bills.

"Those gut intuitions that we have. ... 'Oh, we're running out of money,' that's a good intuition to have, but ... we need to take into account our precedent," he said. "I want to reemphasize consistency, especially with the materials that we often sponsor and some of the caps that we have imposed on student organizations in terms of how how many shirts they're allowed to buy, how much money they're allowed to do that."

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Senator Aundrea DeGravina said Tuesday night's discussion opened up the door to a greater discussion about what aspects are necessary in order to hold an event.

During Tuesday's meeting, Miller announced a special bet he made with Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Manny Felix: Whoever loses Saturday's rivalry game between ASU and UA, the president of that school must shave the opposing school's logo onto the side of his head.

Related Links:

ASU students educate, raise funds through dance marathon

Video: ASU Dance Marathon

Reach the reporter at Jlsuerth@asu.edu or follow @SuerthJessica on Twitter.

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