AU GOP brings Paul to fundraise

AU CRs seek other funds

A libertarian-leaning Republican presidential candidate from Texas may turn out to be the College Republicans' best fundraiser of the fall term.

It cost $10 per person to hear Rep. Ron Paul speak at one of the AU College Republicans' biggest fundraisers of the semester Wednesday evening.

Because of a $450 reduction in funding from the AU Club Council, the College Republicans will be selling T-shirts, bumper stickers, NALGENE bottles and soliciting online donations to make up the difference in funding, according to Will Haun, president of the club and a junior in the School of Public Affairs.

Last year, the AUCC gave the College Republicans $3,500 and reduced that amount this year to $3,050, The Eagle previously reported.

That decision was "very foolish and irresponsible," Haun said.

The College Republicans held 76 events last year and had more than 1,400 campaign hours - more than any other Republican club chapter in D.C., according to Haun.

"To do all that and then say, 'We are going to cut their funding,' is counterproductive," he said. "It is saying that hard work is not going to be rewarded."

The funds allocated to each club change every year, said Kristen Lyon, AUCC chair and a junior in the School of International Service.

The AUCC has seven members - five of whom clubs on campus elect - who collectively decide how to distribute available money to clubs, she said.

In the past, the AUCC usually gave out money based on "gut feeling" but went through every budget to decide funding allocation this year, Lyon said.

"This year was the year of the small clubs," she said. "Yes, we recognize that large clubs need more money, but when we went to crunch numbers, on average we cut whatever they were asking for in food in half."

Half the cover charge for the Ron Paul event went to pay for catered food from Chef Geoff's, while the other half went to the College Republicans, according to Lyon.

Prior to the event, Paul had to sign an agreement stating he would not talk about his political campaign and would instead talk about the conservative movement, said Leon Thomas, program advisor for Student Acitivities.

"AU has the 501(c)(3) status, and in order to keep that status, they cannot support any political candidate," Lyon said.

Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code describes which nonprofit organizations can claim to be exempted from paying federal income taxes and the rules those organizations have to follow, according to the Internal Revenue Service's Web site.

AU has two additional rules for fundraising events. There can be no gambling and no alcohol, except at graduate club events. A different process covers the rules governing graduate club events, she said.

Activities held for students should be free of cost, said Carolyn Kunst, a sophomore in SPA.

"I'm the fundraiser for the crew team, and I don't think [the AUCC] have a good system of dealing out money to anyone, and I think it is unfortunate," she said. "It's a disservice to American students because it should be free for them to go to events - they shouldn't have to pay."

Political groups on campus should get a fair amount of funding because of AU's proximity to D.C., said Stacy McShane, a sophomore in SPA.

"I think especially at American, the College Republicans and the College Democrats should be getting a good amount of the funds because that's what kids come here for," she said. "Especially since we went down in the politically active school ranking, they should get a lot of funding"

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