The Berkeley Beacon

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Poetry project granted $3,923.80

By Rebecca Fiore / Beacon Staff
January 31, 2013 at 2:24 am

The Emerson Poetry Project was granted $3,923.80 by the Student Government Association on Tuesday to attend to the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI) in April.

The group originally asked for a total of $3,771.80, but the amount was increased to $3,923.80 after SGA members realized the group would need more money for subway transportation.

According to Emerson Poetry Project Treasurer Robert Crawford, the group raised $325 from an independent poetry slam where entrance was $5 per student that they organized. Crawford said that the group is holding another event with Emerson Review and are being paid $100. They also raised $75 worth of books of poems. 

For organizations to make an appeal to the SGA they must fundraise at least 10 percent on their own. 

Crawford, a junior writing, literature, and publishing major, said that the two goals for the group are to foster a strong poetry community at Emerson, and to help poets break into the local scene.

The appeal included the cost of the trip to the invitational in New York City, registration for the event, food for the members, transportation while in Manhattan, and an extra $400 as payment for the two coaches, who do not work for Emerson. 

Class of 2014 Senator Benjamin Halls said that the payment for the coaches was not appropriate, and motioned that the $400 be removed from the appeal. 

“It’s great that she lends her time, and if you want to hire a coach that’s great. But I don’t think we should give a $400 gift from the student activities fee,” Halls said. 

SGA President Tau Zaman said there was precedent for paying for the coaches tickets. 

“Organizations have used their money to pay people in the past,” Zaman. 

Vice President Caitlin Higgins agreed with Zaman, stating that the coaches are taking the time off from their jobs to be a part of the team and deserve to be paid.

Halls’ motion was not passed with only three votes yes, and the coaches’ compensation was kept in the final amount. The remaining SGA appeals budget is $38,260.22. 

“I’m not comfortable with this, but I’m not going to dig in my heels,”Halls said before he voted yes for the appeal.

Fiore can be reached at