LDSSA deserves larger slice of ASUU funding pie

Editor’s Note: All Latter-day Saint students are officially members of LDSSA, regardless of their level of participation in LDSSA activities.

Balance is hard to strike when a majority exists. It is necessary to balance the rights of a majority with the rights of a minority, yet not discount either group. People seem to be all too sensitive about their rights, while not so concerned about the rights of others. This especially becomes a problem when the majority or minority is one of a religious nature.

All too often, U students bemoan the “Mormon domination” and religious discrimination they believe to be present on campus. Unfortunately, these students could not be more incorrect, as the discrimination-at least as far as the Associated Students of the University of Utah is concerned-is the other way around. While these students who complain believe that being a majority is intrinsically wrong, they seem to forget that even a majority can be discriminated against.

On the last day of final elections for ASUU positions, the Latter day Saints Student Association held a debate between the Grassroots and RE: Party candidates for ASUU president and vice president. However, this debate was held well after most students had voted, much to the dismay of many of those present. However, the issues presented at this debate are certainly more than worthy of re-examination.

Dan Kimball, LDS Institute of Religion Student Council member and LDSSA president, said it best when he claimed, “the leaders [of ASUU] sometimes forget we have 15,000 [members].” He also said that some ASUU officials have lost their backbone in representing his group. He is correct on both points: The simple truth is that ASUU is afraid of the wild accusations they would most certainly receive if they were to fund the organization properly.

Factoring in the number of students who are members of LDSSA, it is woefully under funded by ASUU. The institute contributes so much to the campus, yet ASUU is afraid of rewarding it or even assisting it with events benefiting the entire campus.

I am not suggesting in any way that student groups be funded by membership numbers, but that is certainly something that should be taken into account. After all, it is the students’ money that we are spending-it seems imperative that we spend it on organizations and events in which they are most interested. It is hardly within our own interest to offend a majority of students by failing to provide to the organizations of which they are members.

The sad truth is that if LDSSA were given the maximum amount of funding allowed by Redbook and other laws governing ASUU, students who are not members of LDSSA would be in an uproar. Complaints about favoritism and conflicts of interest would quickly ensue and ASUU would be compelled to back down. These students and groups would simply be wrong, but because they would scream so loudly, ASUU would give in.

ASUU would be right on to fund LDSSA with the maximum amount legally allowed. LDSSA is, by far, the largest student organization on campus. It has been financially and even vocally discriminated against by minority student groups. It is time to stand up and have the backbone to respect the U students who affiliate themselves with this organization and to fund it properly-the same way we fund the minority student groups on campus. To those who would complain, get over it. You are part of a minority and you get more than your fair share already. I am not an active member of LDSSA, yet I truly believe it has been given the short end of the stick for way too long.

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