While some North Quad residents are excited to embark on a trip to help schoolchildren in Peru, others who live in the residence hall aren’t as thrilled.

Members of the Committee for International Impact — a subcommittee of the North Quadrangle Residence Hall Multicultural Council — voted at a meeting on Sunday to allocate $2,000 of its budget to send 14 Multicultural Council members on a community service trip to Peru. In a meeting last night, the Residence Hall Association also voted to give the trip participants an additional $4,089.10, which is the remainder of the RHA Community Council Fund used to grant supplemental funds to residence hall councils.

Despite the votes passing that allocated the funds for the trip, some North Quad residents and RHA council members said they were concerned about the funding allocation.

Engineering junior Andrew Kurdelski, a floor representative at North Quad, said he was frustrated that the funds, which were originally intended for all 450 North Quad residents, are being used on only 14 students.

“I thought that it was an unfair use of the funding,” Kurdelski said.

The Committee for International Impact consists of 10 members and is a subsection of the Multicultural Council, which is the residence hall’s student governing body.

LSA junior Andrew Schantz, chair of finance for the Multicultural Council, said the trip to Peru has been planned since the beginning of last semester. At that time, the council allocated $500 in anticipation of funding a community service trip. Additional funding came from outside sources, Schantz said.

Members of the University’s Global Scholars Program — an academic residential community focused on global issues — live in North Quad. Schantz said the international theme of North Quad made funding the trip a sensible choice.

“Our residence hall has never really taken this on … to send residents internationally to do this kind of service,” Schantz said.

Though only 14 residents will be participating in the trip, Schantz said the travelers will give a presentation to share their experience with other North Quad residents during the fall semester.

“We believe that with the exchanges that we get from this trip, we’ll be able to take them back to the residents next year and hopefully inspire them to take part in international service trips as well,” Schantz said.

But LSA junior Nicholas Cormier, another North Quad resident, is worried about how the funds were being used. He said the approval of the proposal is alarming, considering several other proposals by residence staff were not approved.

“I’ve heard from quite a few people on (residence) staff that they’ve been really frustrated proposing things that they’d like to see at North Quad for the residents,” Cormier said.

At the RHA meeting last night, several members also said because the money would only be allocated to 14 people, it would be unfair to other residents in North Quad and other residence halls. The remaining RHA budget money was initially slated to be equally distributed among the residence halls.

Kurdelski also noted that nine of the 14 trip participants are on the Committee for International Impact. He said he thinks the members participating in the trip should have abstained from voting.

In response to worries that the council lacked impartiality in its vote, Schantz said since this is the first time such a trip has been planned, it’s understandable that leaders in the council would be participants on the trip.

“It makes sense that the people that are more familiar with the project and the people that are closer to the project from its beginning stages are the ones that participate in it,” Schantz said. “In the future we want a wide variety of residents to be able to go, not just the people who are involved in residence hall government.”

University Housing spokesman Peter Logan said he thinks the voting process to approve the trip was appropriate.

“We don’t see anything out of hand in the manner in which this was debated, voted on and agreed to,” Logan said.

He added that hall councils are solely responsible for how they allocate funding.

“The hall councils determine their own manner of governance, and University Housing does not impose guidelines or process on the councils,” Logan said. “It’s up to the councils and their communities to determine what is appropriate use of student dollars that are available to the councils for community programs and activities.”

Kurdelski said he understands the group will be educating other residents after the trip, but he noted that some current residents won’t be living in North Quad in the fall, and thus won’t benefit from the allocation of funds. He said he wishes the money would have been instead used to purchase pots and pans for the residents’ kitchen.

Schantz added that some residents at the meeting expressed concerns about the allocation of funds. But before the meeting, a petition was circulated throughout the residence hall to ensure that the council had the support of its residents. The petition had about 114 signatures, he said.

According to its constitution, the council is not required to call meetings that deal with the allocation of funding for specific activities like the Peru trip.

“We just wanted to hold that vote because it’s not a typical amount to request for programming … We just wanted to make that sure that everyone on the council was OK with that,” Schantz said.

Members of the council reviewed the constitution before voting and determined that the council members attending the trip were allowed to vote, Schantz said.

He added that the allocated money doesn’t cover the total cost of the trip for participants, and the council is working to ensure the participants can afford the program. Though the council may be able to get more money for the trip, Schantz said participants will most likely have to personally pay for their plane tickets.

Logan said though this situation was handled properly, the hall council will be looking into how it can prevent similar conflicts in the future.

“The leadership of this integrated council is very much aware of the disagreement and concerns expressed by some of the students in this whole process … and are going to review … to see how they could improve or modify the processes,” Logan said.

— Daily Staff Reporter Mary Hannahan contributed to this report.

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