Volume 3, Number 8

December 13, 1998

Check out Hoosier Review now in print!! You can find our first print issue at any IU dormitory in the free publication racks, as well as in the Union and some classroom buildings.

GRIF allocation rules changed

By Joel Corbin

This campus has recently been involved in a discussion of diversity. One would think that true, total diversity wouldn't be restricted to diversity of skin color and sexual orientation, but instead would branch out to include ideological diversity as well. But that's not the case. An examination of Indiana University Student Association funding distribution over the past few months reveals a bias in favor of liberal student publications. A special fund, the Grass Roots Initiative Fund, was created to provide much-needed money to student groups, without restrictions on political or ideological beliefs.

But funding from the IUSA has remained inconsistent and biased. Liberal student publications are given far more than their conservative counterparts, leading even the most casual observer to notice something's not right. On a campus so concerned with diversity and equality, it seems hypocritical for IUSA to favor one ideology over another.

The student publication griot was recently revived, giving liberal students a campus voice independent of the Indiana Daily Student (IDS). In order to balance the scale and provide conservative students with a printed voice of their own, the staff of the previously Internet-only Hoosier Review attempted to gain the same financial support that griot enjoyed. Since its creation, griot has been funded through appropriations from the IU Student Association.

With the start of the new school year, the staff of Hoosier Review decided to begin a print edition, which would be more widely accessible than the previous Internet edition. The goal was to provide conservative students with an independent conservative voice, which would cover both campus and national issues and events.

Since startup and printing costs are quite high, the HR staff decided to follow the same path as griot, and request funding from IUSA's Grass Roots Initiative Fund. This fund was established with $10, 000 in 1991, in order to "provide financial support for the political and social initiatives of student organizations" (Congress Resolution 98-11-4).

On July 23, 1998, IUSA granted the financially struggling griot $1200 in GRIF funds, $600 less than griot originally requested. A later IDS staff editorial justified the funding, saying, "perhaps griot is valuable enough to the student body that we can give those who publish it the benefit of the doubt" (October 30, 1998).

One week before that editorial ran, Hoosier Review submitted a proposal for $1420 in GRIF funds in order to defray a variety of startup costs. However, just a week later (10/29/98), IUSA passed an amendment to their 1998-99 budget limiting any single publication to $250 in GRIF funding. This amendment was not retroactive, but did affect requests currently pending.

On November 5, the IUSA finance committee amended the HR proposal to $100, and sent it to the student body congress for final approval. The staff of Hoosier Review was notified of this change later in the week. The staff weighed its options: should HR accept the slap-in-the-face funding from the IUSA, or should it reject the offer and remain totally independent. The staff decided on the latter.

Hoosier Review notified IUSA that the $100 offer would be declined, as it would not be worth the accompanying red tape. On November 12, the proposal failed in the IUSA student body congress due to a lack of cosponsors. Hoosier Review decided to get its funding from other sources, including direct-mail, alumni contributions, and advertising sales.

This entire issue serves to illustrate the difference between liberal and conservative ideologies. The liberal student publication must get funding provided by mandatory fees, and it still has trouble staying in print. However, the conservative student publication declines such funding, and instead finds other ways to achieve its ends. The difference between the two will become still more apparent as Hoosier Review grows in the coming months to become self-sufficient, while griot will still rely on IUSA funds.

Additional articles in this issue:

The politically correct 12 days of Christmas

Assisted suicide cheapens life

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Eric Seymour

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