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Union approves $4,800 for campus programming

The Duke University Union doled out almost $5,000 for campus programming and debated DUU's role as a funding organization at its weekly administrative meeting Tuesday night.

President Katelyn Donnelly, a senior, said it is essential that the Union portray itself as a sponsorship organization rather than a source of money for student groups.

"We don't want to be a funding body but rather a co-sponsoring body," she said. "There are a lot of pots of money at Duke, so it's important that people know that we're not here to just provide money."

Donnelly suggested that funding applications be rebranded as "co-sponsorship" applications to clarify DUU's position. She also noted that the Union must be proactive in making sure that it receives recognition for all events it sponsors.

"There have definitely been events this year that we've funded and haven't received much recognition for," Donnelly said.

Also at the meeting, the Union solidified plans for a campus-wide band competition, approved limited funding for an open-mic poetry and music event and agreed to co-sponsor a visit to campus by the CEO of popular Mexican chain restaurant Chipotle.

The Campus Concert Series committee announced that they will host the "Battle of the Bands" on the Main West Quadrangle March 22, and the Union approved $2,500 for the event. At the end of the afternoon, which will feature eight student acts, one band will take home a $100 prize.

Keeping with the outdoor performance theme, senior Keith Nimene, a representative of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., presented his organization's proposal for "Rock the Mic," a music and performance poetry showcase to be held in early April. He said the event will feature both student performers and professional acts, including a reggae band and a slam poet.

DUU allocated $1,500 to help Phi Beta Sigma pay performers.

The final project funded was presented by the Network for Future Executives, which asked DUU to co-sponsor an upcoming presentation by Chipotle CEO Steven Ells. Ells has agreed to come to campus for free, but the Union approved $800 to help market the event and provide free burritos to attendees.

To round out the evening, Special Projects Director Rebecca Friedman, a senior, presented updates on Duke Royale, a formal party in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens April 2. Friedman said the party, complete with hors d'oeuvres and four bars, is free to students and faculty.

"It's really fun when you get there and see your professors walking around," she said.

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