Cornell allows feminist club's 'wasteful' spending to continue

  • Cornell University's student government recently overturned a proposed 75% budget cut to the Women's Resource Center, which spends 4 times as much per student as other groups on campus.
  • Despite evidence that the Center had "wasteful" spending habits, the Cornell Student Assembly was ultimately pressured into revoking the cut in the interest of "diversity and inclusivity."

Cornell University’s student government recently overturned a 75 percent cut to the Women’s Resource Center’s budget in the interest of “diversity and inclusivity.”

According to The Cornell Daily Sun, the school’s Student Assembly reversed the Appropriation Committee’s 75 percent budget cut for the Women’s Resource Center after it appealed the decision as “insulting” and “unreasonable.”

“If we want to be fair to all organizations on campus, I don’t see how we can spare $16 per person."   

The Women’s Resource Center, notably, hosts a regular program called “The Feminism: Food for Thought,” which invites student organizations across campus to discuss the issue “through an intersectional lens.”

[RELATED: Student: Mainstream feminism ‘excludes’ many feminists]

However, the program recently spent $16 for each student’s meal—four times the amount that most student clubs spent, prompting the Appropriation Committee to create a budget proposal to reduce wasteful spending.

Gabriel Kaufman, vice president of finance for the Student Assembly, argued in favor of the budget cut, noting that “the program is spending too much money” on food.

“No other byline funded organization has this funding,” he continued, suggesting that the feminist group meet monthly rather than weekly to keep within a normal budget.

“If we want to be fair to all organizations on campus, I don’t see how we can spare $16 per person,” student Samantha Zavala concurred. “I don’t see how the money is being fair to all the students [who] pay the student activity fee.”

But Elise Czuchna, a senior at the elite institution, responded to such criticism by claiming that monthly meetings are not enough to promote “diversity and inclusivity.”

“Other clubs and organizations getting less funding are not catering to the same types of people we are. Other organizations are not necessarily open to all students like we are,” she elaborated.

[RELATED: Berkeley blows budget on booze, boat cruise, blacks-only bash]

Nonetheless, after extensive debate, the Student Assembly caved into pressure and revoked the 75 percent budget cut for the Center.

Campus Reform reached out to both the Cornell Student Assembly and the Women’s Resource Center for comment, but did not receive any responses in time for publication.

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Natalie Bao Tram Le
Natalie Bao Tram Le | Massachusetts Campus Correspondent

Natalie Bao Tram Le is a Massachusetts Campus Correspondent, and reports on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform.  She is a graduate student studying government at Harvard University and serves as Development Associate for the Independent Women's Voice, a Campus Coordinator for Students for Liberty, and a Campus Ambassador for the Foundation for Economic Education.

6 Articles by Natalie Bao Tram Le