SGA tables dental care funding request

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Staff Writer

The Student Government Association senate voted Friday to postpone a vote on whether to allocate student activity funds to Access to Care Day, a free event hosted by IU South Bend’s Dental Hygiene Clinic.

Janee Bryant and Erin Cantu, co-presidents of the Access to Care Day group, requested $7,000 to provide food for the all-day event. Last year, the first Access to Care Day attracted a crowd so large they had to turn away more than 100 people, Cantu said, and this year they expect as many or more.

“We want to help close the gap in access to dental care,” Cantu said to the senate. “A lot of our clientele at the dental clinic don’t have insurance, and this is a way for them to get the care they need.”

IUSB’s Dental Clinic, located in the back of the Education and Arts Building, offers services to the community such as cleanings and x-rays at discounted rates. But for the people that need more care – those with cavities and tooth decay, for instance – the clinic can only refer them to a dentist.

“It’s so sad to clean somebody’s teeth and then send them home with all of this decay in their mouth because we can’t fix it,” Cantu said in an interview after the funding request was tabled.

Bryant said that is exactly what Access to Care Day was created to address.

“The event focuses on extractions and fillings – the things that don’t get offered at the clinic on a regular basis,” she said. “Fillings are expensive and out of reach for most people without funding.”

Cantu and Bryant said they expect the event to cost $13,000 in total. The difference would be made up in fundraising and donations. Cantu said they need $7,000 for food because of the long waits and large crowds experienced last year. Some waited in line from 3:00 in the morning, she said. Many never saw a dentist.

“You can’t ask somebody to sit all day without breakfast and lunch,” she added.

The senate discussed the request before voting to table it until next week’s meeting. The event is scheduled for April 18.

In other business, the senate voted to award two funding requests Friday.

A request was made on behalf of the Undergraduate Research and History Journals for more money for publishing fees.

“There were so many great submissions this year – also longer – that we couldn’t afford to print them all,” Jason Rose, an editor with the journals, said.

Rose requested $1,220 for the Undergraduate Research Journal and $350 for the History Journal to be able to include all worthy submissions.

“It’s a really good problem to have,” he said. “These are papers that really should be out there, and it’s really a great way of showing what IUSB is capable of doing.”

Without the additional funds, the journals would have to cut six to seven papers that Rose said are better than most of those published last year.

Senators Danielle Cagle and Rachel Santos made motions to allocate the funds for the Undergraduate Research Journal and History Journal, respectively.

“It would be a disservice to not publish these things,” Cagle said. “It helps build a student’s resume, and that’s what they’re here for – to get a job.”

All senators present voted in favor with the exception of two both of whom had submitted papers to the journals.

The senate also voted to allocate up to $950 to provide food and entertainment at the annual Asian Heritage Festival.

The festival is scheduled for April 17 and will include traditional Chinese dancers, a martial arts demonstration and calligraphy and origami classes.

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