Funding for the fourteenth annual Tech Beautification Day (TBD) came under close scrutiny this past week during consideration by the GSS.
The initial versions passed by each house were different and had to be reconciled in a conference committee before this week.
The bill was ultimately passed due to support from UHR, which overrode the GSS vote by exceeding the enactment ratio needed for the funds to be awarded. The primary reason for opposition in GSS was the fact that funds awarded to TBD would be used for projects that would improve Greek properties on campus, which are technically not considered to be Institute property.
“Greek students have shown their commitment to improving campus year after year. However, the Senate was extremely uncomfortable with using student activity fee revenue to improve private property, and with the precedent that would [be] set,” wrote CE Sen. Aaron Greenwood, who served on the conference committee between the House and Senate, in an e-mail.
Greenwood went on to say that he was against funding the clean-up of all private property, not just Greek houses.
“We made very clear that it didn’t matter who owned the property (Greek letter organizations, religious groups or even citizens outside the Tech community), we did not feel that improvements funded through the SAF were appropriate,” Greenwood wrote. “We’re certainly grateful for all of the Greek involvement in TBD, but we’re not comfortable with funding improvements to private property owners.”
However, UHR still chose to fund the bill with a near unanimous vote of 47-0-3.
“The reason the graduate students were against this was because it was an improvement to private property, but this property is located on Tech property, so the representatives in the committee felt that these projects actually served the best of our students’ interests,” said Sophomore Rep. Nicholas Picon.
CS Rep. Daniel Farmer spoke against the bill during the UHR meeting. He agreed with the graduates.
“I was against it initially because the student activity fee was going to one part of campus, especially when there was none for other organizations such as CCF,” Farmer said.