A religious student organization at the University of Utah can receive money from the student government to help with the ongoing Marriott Library fund drive.
That's the opinion delivered in a letter to the U. Institutional Council by assistant Utah attorney general Thomas C. Anderson. The attorney general's office, however, is preparing a formal opinion on the development of appropriate policies and standards for the use of general student funds by student religious organizations for nonreligious purposes.The issue surfaced last month when Associated Students of the University of Utah President John Wunderli said student government wanted to give "seed money" to the Newman Center, a Catholic student organization, to help in its fund raising for the library.
Council members worried about possible legal problems arising if student funds were given to a religious group. Wunderli said he had received a verbal approval from an assistant attorney general. The council approved Wunderli's request based on a more formal approval from the Utah attorney general's office.
Monday, Wunderli said The Latter-day Saint Student Association has joined with the Newman Center in requesting "seed money" to start a joint library fund drive.
He said ASUU will give the two groups a total of $500 to publicize and print discount coupon books. Students will be urged to purchase the coupon books, which will offer discounts at local businesses. The businesses will donate part of the profit from student purchases to the library, he said.
The studentbody president said the U. students have already raised $50,000 of their $80,000 goal for the Marriott Library. Last year, the Utah Legislature agreed to match $2 for every $1 raised by the students for library acquisitions. The U. will receive $240,000 if the U. students reach their $80,000 within the three-year limit under the program.
The state will divide $500,000 among Utah's nine state institutions of higher learning through June 1993 in the matching funds program. "Austere state budgets have failed to keep pace with the rising costs of books and periodicals," says Dr. Robert L. Staab, library development director.