SU allocates funds for comedy

Richard Matus | Staff Reporter

In its last meeting of the term, Student Union Treasury almost went broke.

The allocating body entered Tuesday’s meeting with just $3,000—about $2,000 short of the money necessary to fund the docket of appeals in full.

Senior Ammar Karimjee, the outgoing vice president of finance, explained that funding a large number of appeals under $1,000—which he is able to do without consulting Treasury—pushed the appeals account lower than where it needed to be for the meeting.

To rectify the issue he had to make a last minute proposal that Treasury move $15,000 from the 2011-2012 carryforward account to the Treasury appeals account. The 12 Treasury members in attendance unanimously approved the motion.

K.A.R.L. Improv! asked for approximately $4,000 to put on Pandamonium, an all-college improvisational comedy festival in Bowles Plaza. The event will be open to the public for a $5 fee and free for all students with valid Washington University ID.

Kate Drummond, junior and president of K.A.R.L. Improv!, focused her presentation on the unique nature of the improvisational festival put on by the group.

“We take college teams and [mix them up] so they learn from each other,” Drummond said. “They’re also coached by professional, local St. Louis improvisers.”

Drummond also emphasized that since last year, the number of groups from other universities interested in attending has grown. The teams visiting do not pay any admission fees but are expected to fund their own travel expenses.

“Last year we had two non-Wash. U. teams come, one from [the University of Missouri] and one from Vanderbilt,” Drummond said. “They’re both sending twice as many people. Kansas State and Illinois State are new this year.”

Junior and treasurer of K.A.R.L. Improv! Connor McEvoy added that the group managed to secure Chicago improv group Octavarius for a reduced fee.

“Octavarius is considered to be the fastest-growing group in Chicago,” McEvoy said.

Treasury engaged in a short question-and-answer and debate, choosing to fund the request in full.

“I think it’s okay to fund this in full—we were tight on money, but it’s almost into March,” Michael Land, sophomore and treasury representative, said. “As a body this semester, I think we value groups coming to us sooner rather than later.”

Competition Committee, a new Student Union formulation first proposed by Speaker of the Treasury and senior Paul Blachar, also presented its first ever competition budget to the full Treasury body for approval. The budget was presented by the Competition Committee chair, junior Sean Janda, and unanimously approved.

The final budget was under $100,000, which is less than the $110,000 within the competition account. Karimjee explained that underspending the entire competition account was unsurprising.

“I met with Sean before I did the general budget, and $110,000 was the cap we did not want to spend past,” Karimjee said.

Janda responded to questions about the budget for treasury representatives less familiar with the operations of each student group and explained the general process that Competition Committee went through.

“We wanted to interview each group and treat each event as its own entity,” Janda said.

The meeting concluded with an open discussion and reflection among Treasury members, some of whom are graduating and others who are moving to executive roles, such as Nick Palermo, incoming vice president of finance.

“It’s been a much more calm semester in Treasury. A lot less shouting, a lot less swearing,” Palermo said.

  • Ammar Karimjee

    Richard: I just wanted to say that this is a great article. I really hope you continue reporting on SU and treasury because I like the way you write your articles.