SU Treasury’s third session of Spring 2023

| Senior News Editor

Tim Mellman | Student Life

Student Union Treasury approved all of this week’s appeals in their latest session, Jan. 31.


Leaders in Interpersonal Violence Education (LIVE), a group who, according to their website, “hopes to empower all members of [the WashU] community to take a stand against sexual violence,” asked Treasury for $16,500 to fund a visit from U.S. gymnast Maggie Nichols. Nichols was one of the many sexual assault survivors of Larry Nassar, a former sports doctor. To protect her identity, Nichols was referred to as “Athlete A” during Nassar’s investigation. She now speaks out against abuse and shares her story. 

Breaking down the cost, $14,500 would be paid to Nichols for speaking at WashU, while $2,000 would be allocated towards her travel and hospitality expenses. 

LIVE anticipates at least three hundred people to attend, based on the size of the Zoom audience at the group’s 2021 speaker event with Aly Raisman, another U.S. gymnast and victim of Larry Nassar.

Treasurer Christine Ling contested the $2,000 travel and other expenses fee, asking LIVE why they did not try to negotiate a lower amount with the help of a liaison. LIVE noted that Nichols requested first-class travel, which brought the cost up. Treasurer Sadie Karp, however, added that speakers have “different standards and different prices,” and she thinks that the event is worth the cost.

Another treasurer, Hieran Andeberhan, encouraged LIVE to choose more diverse speakers in the future, as both Nichols and Raisman are white female gymnasts. 

“Sexual assault affects everyone,” Andeberhan said. “Just limiting [LIVE’s speakers] to athletes and white women is going to limit the scope of people who feel [that the events] speak to them.”

The motion to fund Nichols’ visit was passed, with a large majority of Treasurers favoring the appeal.

Club Sports: Running Club, Club Swim, Climbing Club, and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee

Several athletic club teams made appeals to Treasury this week.

The Running Club asked to bring 28 runners to Chicago for the Shamrock Shuffle, an annual race on St. Patrick’s Day. Accounting for hotel rooms, Amtrak tickets, and race registration fees, the trip would cost $4,866.89 in total. After a brief deliberation period, Treasury approved the appeal.

WashU’s Climbing Club asked to take 16 climbers to the Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas. The group plans to drive to their destination, so expenses would include a gas fee in addition to fees for housing and climbing passes. The total proposed cost was $1,090.80.

Women’s Ultimate Frisbee appealed for $2,640 to get 40 of their members each a U.S.A. Ultimate (USAU) membership, which grants the players access to tournaments. Each USAU membership costs $68.

Club Swim’s appeal generated heightened debate among the Treasury. The team asked to bring 27 swimmers to their league’s national conference at Ohio State University (OSU). A total cost of $15,623.42 was recommended for the trip, including hotel rooms, Enterprise car rentals, food and Uber expenses, as well as flights.

Karp asked why the group needed to fly to OSU when it is within a 500-mile radius from WashU. The group cited Campus Life’s rule against driving late at night as a reason for flying.

Also, Treasurer Leslie Sackey asked for clarification as to why Club Swim was bringing 27 swimmers when only 19 or 20 swimmers have qualified for nationals so far. The group said that they anticipate another seven to eight swimmers will end up qualifying.

The motion to approve funding passed, but during the open forum after the appeals, Vice President of Finance Max Roitblat encouraged the new Treasury representatives to be more proactive in questioning unneeded expenses, such as Club Swim’s plane tickets.

Other Appeals

Treasury also heard appeals from the Muslim Student Association for a speaker series and the WashU Fencing Club for several local tournaments. The debate team made two appeals, each for a trip to a debate tournament, one in Boston and one at Yale University. All appeals were funded.


Treasurer Alan Xiong, a new representative this semester, said the treasurers did a good job of questioning student groups on how they were finding their hotels and whether or not events were necessary to attend.

“This high level of engagement is really great,” he said.

As he continues his work as an SU Treasurer, Xiong hopes to “contribute to making Student Union a more accessible body to all WashU students.”

Mishka Narasimhan, Speaker of the Treasury, was “extremely happy” with how the meeting went.

“I think there is a lot of continued participation from new [representatives],” she said. “As the semester goes on, I think we are going to become more and more efficient.”

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