DSG rejects reviving keg fund

Alcohol was the main topic of discussion at the Duke Student Government meeting Wednesday night.

DSG discussed and voted down a proposal to revive its Bartender and Alcohol Subsidy Fund. Student groups would have applied to the proposed fund to have up to two kegs of beer paid for by DSG for specific events, pending approval by the Student Organization Finance Committee.

“Alcohol is a type of social lubricant to bring diverse groups of people together,” said SOFC Chair David Hu, a junior. “This subsidy fund will enhance programming on campus…. This is the most efficient use of resources to bring the most enjoyment.”

The fund would have consisted of $10,000 taken from SOFC’s surplus, which is currently $41,000, Hu said.

After a half-hour debate, a close majority of DSG senators voted against the fund.

Junior Ben Condon, the newly appointed chief financial officer of Duke University Union, attended the meeting to support the subsidy.

“We want to pass this resolution because alcohol can be a medium for social groups of students,” he said. “If we add this, it’s going to add value to Duke’s social and student life, and that’s what DUU is all about.”

Senators amended the resolution to require the involvement of at least two student groups per event and the serving of non-alcoholic beverages at each event.

Many senators objected to using DSG’s money to supply alcohol to student organizations, instead of supporting student financial aid or charitable causes. Some senators said they were concerned that the same groups would apply for the fund repeatedly.

Other senators said part of the fund should be used to purchase non-alcoholic beverages for students who don’t drink alcohol.

In other business:

DSG members discussed the new satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading policy, which replaced pass/fail and was approved by the Arts & Sciences Council in early March.  

Under the new policy the required passing grade was changed from a D-minus to a C-minus. Neither satisfactory nor unsatisfactory grades are calculated in a student’s GPA. Furthermore, students who have not yet declared a major are allowed to take courses on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

The creation of a committee to plan a Greek financial aid fund was also approved. The committee will figure out how to raise money and create an endowment to help students involved in Greek life pay their dues. The committee will begin its work this semester and will continue during the next academic year.

Associate Justices Saher Valiani and Gautam Joseph, both freshmen, and David Wang, a sophomore, were confirmed at the meeting.


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