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Greek Life Supports P4K in Wake of SGA Senate Changing Philanthropy

Carlos+Mercedes+Meran+at+last+year%27s+P4K.+Photo+courtresy+of+Carlos+Mercedes+Meran.+
Carlos Mercedes Meran at last year's P4K. Photo courtresy of Carlos Mercedes Meran.

Carlos Mercedes Meran at last year's P4K. Photo courtresy of Carlos Mercedes Meran.

Carlos Mercedes Meran at last year's P4K. Photo courtresy of Carlos Mercedes Meran.

Joseph Tucci, Managing Editor

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Members of Greek life have chosen to support Pace 4 Kids after the Student Government Association’s (SGA) Senate voted to give it’s philanthropy budget to Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society’s (ALD) philanthropy at the April 20 senate hearing.

Pace 4 Kids (P4K) is an eight-hour dance marathon designed to raise funds for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, which has been chosen to receive SGA’s philanthropy budget for the past three years. They budgeted for $5,000 this year.

ALD plans to create an event, similar to College Against Cancer’s Relay for Life, to raise funds for those affected by hydrocephalus—a condition where cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain.

It was first discussed during the Senate meeting on April 7 when neither P4K nor ALD representatives were present to receive the philanthropy budget. Then, Black Student Union’s (BSU) Senator James Best motioned to table the voting for choosing who would receive the money until the next Senate meeting in order to give P4K an opportunity to justify why they desired the money.

“I called a motion to table it so that P4K could come in and give us a description of what P4K intended to do with the money because I wanted to hear them speak on it,” Best said. “I wanted them to show up and give us their little spiel or whatever, so we as a Senate could support it. Because in years past, P4K has just expected the fact that they don’t have to do anything and we’re just going to support them no matter what.”

During the Senate meeting on April 20, no representative from P4K attended and ALD’s representative Allie Rodriguez presented their reasoning for wanting the budget. The Film Appreciation Program of Pace’s Senator Joseph Gonzalez motioned to approve ALD’s budget over P4K’s, which passed with a 10-7 vote in ALD’s favor.

“I motioned to approve funding for [ALD] once the motion was seconded by someone else,” Gonzalez said. “We got into a discussion and I made one of the first discussion points. I said, ‘The reason why I’m doing this is because P4K has had this money for three years and I would like to see what else could be done with this money.’ [P4K] has had a lot of time to create their event and process it.”

After the voting, Delta Phi Epsilon President Alexis Neuville, Alpha Phi Delta (APD) member Ryan Lewis, and other members of Greek Life spoke against the decision in Senate’s open discussion forum. However, the decision could not be changed except by a veto from SGA President Julian Alston, so Gonzalez made a motion to limit the discussion which Senate approved, ending the conversation.

Outraged at P4K not receiving money, Lewis ran for and became the Senator of the Interfraternity Council (IFC) in order to have IFC support P4K so the event can continue to run even without SGA’s budget.

With Lewis’ influence, IFC approved a plan to donate $400 to P4K from its agency account the second week of the upcoming fall semester. Lewis plans to bring the situation up at future IFC councils in hopes of raising more funds.

“We’re going to make sure this happens no matter what,” Lewis said.

The University PanHellenic Council and National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations plan to vote on a similar proposal next semester, since their voting period this semester has ended. However, they expressed support for the cause, according to Lewis and APD member Carlos Mercedes Meran.

“Now that P4K is not getting the funding; we’re going to stall getting it together,” Meran said. “It’s going to be harder but not impossible. All the Greek organizations have shown together that we care more [than other’s in the Pace Community] because we’re always the last ones [standing] anyway. We’re always the last ones [standing] during [Relay for Life], we’ve shown we stand the most for the school, we’re going to keep going until we have the money to get it up and running, and we’re going to show again that we’re going to be the last [ones standing].”

Meran feels that Pace has become selfish with how it distributes money, stating how beneficial things constantly get cut down and that Pace should make sure to set aside money for established events.

“We need to rethink how we save money for ourselves, especially with [established events] that we know are going to require money,” Meran said. “We need to know we’re going to have money [to support causes] that are not selfish. I’m a senior now, I’ve seen SGA get more selfish with the money. I can think of many outreaches that Pace has gone through to become a little more selfish, like what they did with [getting rid of] their Environmental Center Museum.”

Meran and Lewis also feel as though P4K’s representative’s mistake of not attending Senate should not end up costing sick children funding they depend on.

“Small mistakes shouldn’t cost a lot of kids the help that they need,” Meran said.

Meran and Lewis are willing to accept any help from any willing sources.

P4K President Angela Ramirez thanked those who support P4K and asked that anyone with further questions or concerns to email her at [email protected]

“I would just say that it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get the budget, but I assure you that P4K will still go on and be as good as it can be and we thank everyone for their support and help,” Ramirez said.

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