The University of Dayton College Republicans has received $1,000 funding from the UD Student Government Association to attend a conservative conference in Washington, D.C., later this week.
Although, it wasn’t for as much as the group had originally planned for.
The College Republicans originally asked SGA commuter senator Jake Rettig to sponsor and write senate bill 12-13-22, proposing that the UDCR would receive $1,500 in funding out of the SGA senate discretionary fund to send three group members to the Conservative Political Action Conference from March 14-16.
The group also filed an application with SGA for an additional $1,000 to send two more students through SGA budget week.
Rettig, a junior political science and criminal justice double major, said the original senate vote on the bill passed easily on Feb. 17. According to minutes from the Feb. 17 meeting, the bill was passed with a vote of 16-7 with four votes abstaining.
Scott Bridwell, a junior mechanical engineering major and SGA vice president of finance, said during the Feb. 17 meeting that he felt uncomfortable potentially giving the College Republicans more than $1,000, the maximum amount student organizations can receive through budget week. Several senators pointed out that SGA has funded groups additional money outside of the $1,000 given out during budget week.
But the bill was vetoed by President Emily Kaylor, which was not surprising, according to Rettig and John Hillock, the vice president of UD College Republicans.
“I actually vetoed that bill because it was before budget week and we don’t want student orgs circumventing the system,” said Kaylor, a senior political science major. “And also, to spend $1,500 on three students, we usually spend $1,500 on like 20. So it seemed like an extra bit of money.”
The bill was voted on again on the senate floor on Feb. 24. The College Republicans’ request for $1,500 was turned down by a vote of 11-6 against the bill.
To overturn a veto, the senate must have a 2/3 majority in favor of the bill.
Campus South senator Brent Veselik wrote a letter to the editor to Flyer News on Feb. 22, urging students to become more aware of the happenings of SGA after the senate passed the College Republicans’ bill on Feb. 17.
When asked last week after the senate had voted down the bill, Veselik said he “would not like to comment at this time” through an email statement to Flyer News.
Hillock said Veselik’s letter to the editor caused SGA to vote down bill 12-13-22.
“Yeah, I feel like the one senator [Veselik] portrayed SGA in a real bad light,” Hillock said. “I feel like it made them think like if they approve this bill, they’ll appear partisan. Or if they approve this bill, it will look bad as a reflection upon them as giving in to an organization. In reality, it’s over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, only dedicated students are going to take this opportunity to go to D.C. I do feel like that played a role.”
“Going in there for the first time and presenting in front of them and seeing 16-7 with us there, I feel like they were a little more for us,” Hillock said. “But then when we weren’t there, party politics definitely had some influence. If we were there, they probably couldn’t say no to our faces. So it was probably a lot easier to vote no.”
Rettig said that during the vote on Feb. 24, the debate on the senate floor was focused, at times, on partisan politics more so than the finances of the bill.
“It was definitely an interesting conversation we had on the senate floor,” Rettig said. “I think people got wrapped up in the politics of it when they should be focusing on the student organizations and the student body. We’re not politically affiliated. I don’t represent the Democrats or the Republicans. We’re students of the University of Dayton trying to make the student body a better place. I think a few people got wrapped in it, but there are no hard feelings.”
Hillock said the group did receive funding from an outside donor after the donor heard that the College Republicans’ bill for $1,500 was voted down. Hillock said the UDCR will send five members to Washington, D.C. for CPAC.
“Yeah, everything worked out. We’re grateful for the $1,000 we got during budget week, which is the max amount.
“Thank you SGA for the funding. President Kaylor, Scott Bridwell, senator Rettig and senator Amy Kandel, she co-sponsored the bill.”