This message was in response to a note I sent Chris Washburn, the SGA
Treasurer at the University of Maine, Orono.  Chris and I worked on the
budget process project together, and we recently talked about funding
and racial issues.  Check it out...

Good luck with exams!

James Richards


> -----Original Message-----
> From: [log in to unmask]
> [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, May 04, 1998 10:31 AM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Re: RE: RE: RE: UM's Budgeting Process
> [log in to unmask],.Internet writes:
> >So let me know on the race equity issue, I look forward to your
> >response.  Again, thanks for all your help with my research over the
> >semester, it was great speaking with you.  Keep in touch.
> James,
> Racial issues have recently escalated here on campus.  We have had
> several racially motivated situations crop up over the past two
> semesters and the minority students here on campus are really
> beginning
> to react.  For instance last week there was a Diversity Rally held on
> the lawn of the President's home, protesting what many feel is his
> lack
> of making significant steps toward diversifying our campus.  At UM we
> only have 60 black students, and far fewer of each of the other
> minorities and only 1 black professor. This issue is becoming bigger
> each day and I am sure that at UVM the emotions are very mixed as they
> are here.
> As far as funding goes, we don't make any distinctions among groups
> based on what they are intended to do.  When our Budgetary Committee
> meets the discussion focuses on what each group has contributed to the
> campus community and what they plan to contribute for the upcoming
> year.  We have always felt that a small group focusing on specific
> issues such as diversity may be better able to benefit the student
> body
> than a large group that does little more than hold weekly meetings.
> Our Black Student Union and American Indians @ UM are the two largest
> club budgets that are normally funded at UM.  This is not however do
> to
> the political correctness of doing so.  We do this because they are
> tremendously active groups that are out in the campus and local
> community providing educational and social programs for everyone.  We
> have had circumstances where minority groups receive little or no
> funding the same as any other group that cannot show that they are
> making a contribution to our campus or cannot meet the guidelines set
> in order for them to receive funds.  So I guess what I am saying is
> that I think at UM the SG has traditionally done a very good job of
> remaining color blind.  Not everyone would agree with me on this issue
> but if they did this wouldn't be America would it.
> If you or anyone else there is interested in more of what is happening
> on this campus in regards to diversity issues you might contact:
> Ebony Laprocina, student senator
> Dwight Rideout, Dean of Student Life (and really cool guy)
> Adonis Ferreira, Associate Dean of Multicultural affairs
> Wesley Petteway, President  Student Heritage Alliance Council
> They are on the same e-mail system through which you are contacting
> me!!
> I would like to have a copy of your report.  It sound like things
> worked out very well for you.  As for the long senate meeting this is
> typical for UM.  We usually last anywhere from 3 to 10 hours in senate
> debating the budget once it is presented.  I chalk it up to senators
> fluffing their feathers in front of the press and their constituents.
> You also are never going to please all 100 groups and someone is going
> to debate why a particular group got less than another or make a
> motion
> to give/take more money to/from a group.
> Keep in touch.
> Chris Washburn
> 840 S. Main St. #5
> Old Town, ME 04468