A Catholic Center budgetary statute split the Duke Student Government Senate straight down the middle at its Wednesday meeting, during which it also considered next year's proposed annual budget. 

Senators debated a budgetary statute for the Catholic Center’s Easter Mass program. The statute requested about $7,700—including about $6,500 for the event to be held in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Senior Alexa Soren, chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee, said that the budgetary statute had been approved by SOFC in a contentious six to four vote. 

The budgetary statute faced similar opposition in the Senate, with some senators questioning if religious events of this type had been funded to this caliber in the past and if the event was truly open to the entire student body because of its religious nature.

After debate in the Senate, the vote on the statute tied in a 19-19 vote. Executive Vice President Ilana Weisman, a senior, would have broken the tie in the Senate. However, Weisman decided to table the statute until DSG's next meeting.

“We had a very select group of senators missing in that we were just over quorum," Weisman said. "I don’t think it was a representative sample of all of Senate, and that’s not a representative vote."

She added that she did want to fund the event, but that she hoped the Catholic Center would search for an alternate location that would cost less money. 

“If you’re expecting 1,500 people—1,000 of whom are undergraduates—Cameron Indoor fits much more than that, and I think there’s a lot of novelty that plays into that location decision, whereas Page [Auditorium] holds about 1,700 people and would be a lot less expensive,” Weisman said.

Soren also presented half of next year's proposed annual budget during this meeting, explaining cuts that SOFC made to various budget proposals. 

Weisman informed the Senate mid-meeting that the Catholic Center had appealed SOFC’s removal of allocations for a retreat and other items. The appeal will go through the Financial Oversight and Advisory Committee this week.

Other notable budget items included a zero-dollar allocation for The Chanticleer, the University’s student-run yearbook. The Chanticleer was a source of controversy for DSG last year. The Senate—in a split vote decided by then-EVP and junior John Guarco—allocated $40,000 from the annual budget and surplus fund to subsidize the cost of printing the yearbook.

However, then-DSG President Keizra Mecklai, Trinity '16, vetoed the funding allocations. Following her decision, Tanner Lockhead and Guarco, juniors at the time, sued Mecklai in the DSG Judiciary and won the case. In the end, the $20,000 allocation from the annual budget remained in effect, but the $20,000 surplus fund allocation remained vetoed. 

Lockhead is currently vice president for Durham and regional affairs, and Guarco is no longer affiliated with DSG

The Senate also voted to pass a resolution in support of non-tenure track faculty during negotiations with the administration. First-year Ivan Robles, senator for equity and outreach, explained the importance of this resolution.

“Some of these faculty [have] contracts ending this academic year, and they’re going to be in this strange limbo and at risk of not having jobs in the future,” Robles said. “So we would in general like to express to the administration that DSG is supporting our faculty as they continue this process.”

In other business:

The Senate passed budgetary statutes for Duke Swing, the DSG Senate Equity and Outreach Committee, the International Association and Duke Partnership for Service. It also voted to fund an allocation to allow three senators to attend the Ivy Policy Conference, an annual conference with various selective schools to discuss how to solve campus policy issues.

In addition, the Senate voted to charter Active Generational Education and Duke Dance Expressions.

They also voted to pass a Duke Student Government Research Unit by-law that was presented at the last meeting and included the creation of an advisory board.

DSG tabled until next meeting a statute of more than $10,000 to fund the April 5 food truck fair in the Kilgo Lot.