Representatives from opposing fundraising organizations battled it out for University employees' charity dollars at yesterday's University Council meeting, as Council members searched for the best giving program for the University. Advocates of both a United Way-dominated giving campaign and a proposed "Combined Campaign" attacked opposing plans in time that was allotted to inform Council representatives about the respective programs. With abrasive and acusatory language, the two charities bickered about who would best use employee-donated money. Both groups claimed the other's reported administative costs were lies and that the other have distributed misinformation to the public. As United Way President Ted Moore explained after the meeting, "The bottom line is money." The current fund raising system allows faculty and staff to pledge part of their pay exclusively to the United Way. This was the University's method until fall of 1988 when steps toward a combined campaign were implemented. A combined campaign would encourage the staff and faculty to contribute directly to various University-approved fundraising organizations instead of going through the United Way. The administration has taken steps to achieve this goal and has fully implemented four umbrella groups - Womens Way, Bread and Roses, United Negro College Fund and the Black United Fund -- to join the United Way in the University's fund drive. Supporters of the combined campaign are asking the University to add more approved fundraising groups to their options. United Way officials are seeking to maintain the status quo, or even remove the four groups added since 1988 from the campaign. Contributors to the fall fund drive will vote for one of the campaigning methods in a March referendum. A third option, to eliminate the campaign system on campus, may be on the referendum as well. Rudovsky said the new method would allow more money to reach individual charities since the United Way's administrative costs would be eliminated. Currently, the United Way subtracts 10 to 20 percent of gifts for "administrative" purposes prior to sending it to the dependent organization. United Way representative Cheri Wilson defended the United Way, saying donors have a choice of the ultimate destination of their money from over 2700 recognized charity organizations. She said the combined campaign would give an "unfair marketing advantage" to groups that can afford to solicit money from employees. Another United Way supporter, Shirley Thomas, refuted claims that the group excludes "progressive organizations," saying "the United Way opposed racism in 1931." Both groups claimed to have been responsible for a dramatic rise in donations last fall. Council's steering committee will consider placing the issue on the agenda for next month's meeting. In other business, Faculty Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips announced that council steering will temporarily expand the open expression committee to accomodate the increased demand for representatives at University meetings since the war in the Persian Gulf began last week. Phillips said that former open expression committee members will be asked to serve as representatives, who may intervene if they witness a violation of the open expression guidelines. Open expression guidelines regulate and protect free speech, debates and demonstrations on campus. President Sheldon Hackney also discussed the war in the Persian Gulf, listing several steps the University has taken to assist students, staff and faculty members during the crisis. They include a hotline to answer questions about the war, notification of open expression guidelines and assistance to the Red Cross' blood drive later this month.Comments powered by Disqus
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