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On March 13, GAPSA passed a proposition to give the Penn Fight Night charity event $25,000 in funding if certain conditions are met. 

Credit: Lucia Huo

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly approved less funding than usual for Penn Fight Night and placed several conditions on its financial support of this year's event amid ongoing scrutiny.

The March 13 vote came approximately two weeks after The Daily Pennsylvanian reported on an allegedly withheld $90,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia from the Wharton Graduate Association on behalf of Fight Night. The $25,000 provided represents a decrease from both the $35,000 requested by Fight Night leadership — which failed a vote by the GAPSA general assembly — and the amount delivered to the event in previous years. 

GAPSA placed four conditions on the funding, including a requirement for Fight Night to issue a public response to its allegedly withheld donation. Several GAPSA assembly members said they felt disrespected by Fight Night and unprepared to fund the group, according to the minutes of the March 13 meeting — which were approved at the next meeting on March 27.

At the meeting, GAPSA passed a motion suspending the rules and “considering strings attached” before giving money to Fight Night in addition to normal procedure. This was followed by an initial vote to give Fight Night the full $35,000, which failed to pass after receiving 13 votes in favor and 15 votes opposed.

After failing to pass the $35,000 donation, a proposition to give the group $25,000 passed with 23 in favor and 13 against. 

Of the $25,000 funded by GAPSA, 80% will be used to buy tickets and resell them at a lower price, and 20% will be used for the venue cost in the mode of a direct transfer, according to the meeting minutes. GAPSA President Michael Krone previously told the DP that — while $25,000 is a smaller amount than in previous years — it may increase once Fight Night confirms the use of additional funds from student governments.

The four conditions that GAPSA placed on Fight Night include a public response to the allegations of an incorrect donation amount and to the resignations made by members of the Fight Night Committee. The Committee is also expected to provide a breakdown of ticket sales by school, as well as a financial summary by May 15 or two weeks prior to the funds being transferred. 

Fight Night was also asked to share a disclosure of final numbers — including donation amounts and dates — with the Clubs by Dec. 31. Krone confirmed to the DP that Fight Night has been in compliance with the conditions thus far.

"I have met with leaders from the Fight Night Committee who have confirmed their ability to share data pertaining to the school-by-school breakdown of ticket sales, and they have similarly committed to transparency in financial disclosures with respect to their costs ... and transmission of donation to the Boys and Girls Club[s] of Philadelphia," Krone wrote.

One GAPSA member spoke in opposition to funding Fight Night, saying that — although they wanted the event to happen — they did not feel satisfied with the Fight Night presenters' answers to questions or responses to the DP article.

“I don’t feel my questions were satisfactorily addressed or the article's claims were properly addressed," they said. "I’m not prepared to fund this group."

Another committee member said they felt disrespected since Fight Night had previously been scheduled to speak to the assembly, but no one from the Fight Night Committee had been present at the last meeting.

“I think this a great event, but I do feel very disrespected,” they said. 

A second assembly member said that although they would be willing to fund the group under the right circumstances, “the attitude of the group offended [them].” 

This member added that they found it inappropriate that the group denied requests for comment and found it unacceptable that they failed to address funding concerns until they were brought up by GAPSA.

Another assembly member responded to take responsibility for the absence of Fight Night Committee members at the previous GAPSA meeting.

When GAPSA members asked how to prevent future concerns over donation amounts during the meeting, a Fight Night representative responded that the WGA went through a financial restructuring. The restructuring occurred in September 2023, when the WGA forced all organizations to reset their balances after uncovering widespread financial discrepancies in the funding for the organizations under its leadership.

“It won’t happen again, at least in terms of the restructuring,” the representative said. 

At the meeting, Vice President for Finance for GAPSA Nakisha Jones referenced a data point showing that 57% of attendees were from Wharton and 14% were from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, with other schools comprising the remainder. 

She suggested that the Fight Night Committee try to access funding through the Interschool Partnership Fund between Wharton and Penn Carey Law, and a Fight Night representative said that they have begun that process.