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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 15, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Editorial: SGC has changes to make on Allocations Handbook

The Student Governance Council met March 19 to discuss reforms for its Allocations Handbook. The SGC Appropriations Committee ran out of funding for the rest of the academic year earlier in the semester, leaving clubs that look for funding opportunities later on in the semester feeling stranded. While the SGC’s funding for the last academic year lasted the entire year, funding for clubs has run out before.

It’s good that the SGC is recognizing the faults in its current system and is trying to ameliorate its process for funding. Addressing the issues in the Allocations Handbook is important to ensure the student organizations applying for funds can easily access the information they need when filling out their proposals for funding. In particular, setting limits on travel event proposals and funding for bringing speakers to campus — clubs now have a cap of $4,000 for travel event proposals and club funding for bringing speakers to campus is limited to $8,000 max — are two steps that can help the Appropriations Committee better serve the campus by ensuring funding lasts longer into the spring semester.

The SGC should also consider some other changes to their allocation process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. The Appropriations Committee provides funding to student organizations on a first come, first served basis — provided those organizations meet the requirements and guidelines stated in the SGC Constitution — until it runs out of funding for the year. This academic year, the Appropriations Committee had a total budget of $265,880 but only had $87,000 remaining at the start of the second semester.

The SGC should amend the constitution to set aside half of the funding for the spring semester to ensure student organizations with more events in the spring are not left searching for funding. Additionally, the SGC should add an amendment that makes all Appropriation Committee decisions public. While the meetings are open to the public, earlier this year, the SGC refused to release which organizations received funding and why. Students should know how their governance body is distributing money under its control.

The SGC should be commended for taking steps to improve the allocations process and should also add amendments setting aside half of the committee’s funding for the spring semester and mandating the public release of
funding decisions.