Stickin' it to the man since 1927.
Tensions were high in allocating $3,798
by Jeremy Levine
This week’s student council meeting was dominated by a discussion of how to allocate contested funds from the annual fiscal budget. The meeting was full of drama, intrigue, and suspense, and I have a word count, so let’s hop to it!
First, CUSC allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to committees and organizations that had not contested their claims. The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the eleven groups that were unsatisfied by the amount that council allocated to them.
Since there are two referenda on the ballot for April 24th and 25th, none of the numbers passed tonight are completely final. The numbers on which CUSC agreed to tonight are in the event that the referenda pass; if one or both of them fail, the remaining funds will be distributed to clubs accordingly.
Each group was given an initial recommendation a couple of weeks ago. They had the option of appealing this recommendation if they felt it was necessary. If they were unsatisfied with that number, they could come to the meeting that was held on Wednesday, April 4. These clubs were Hip Hop Collabo, CUBS, Model UN, Salsa Encendida, Clark Musical Theatre, Equestrian Club, Clark Bars, Ballroom Dance, South Asian Student Association, Millennium Leadership Conference, and Ultimate Frisbee.
Hip Hop Collabo requested a $250 increase from their $1,450 allocation. They need the money for sweatpants and for decorations for their stage to make their show a generally more immersive experience.
CUBS was recommended $5,500, and asked for an additional $1,000. They have been growing as a group, and will require t-shirts (as a safety precaution) for each of their members and their mentees when they go on a field trip.
Salsa Encendida requested a $350 increase from their $2,400 allocation. They took a $300 dip in their budget from last year, which is not going to be adequate when they want to put on a show in Atwood next year.
Clark Musical Theatre requested $2,500 increase from their $8,950 budget. To get rights, a music director, and a director for two shows costs $10,000, so in order for the group to put on their shows, especially with props, costumes, and all that jazz, more money is needed.
The Equestrian Club, asking for a $2,262 increase from their allocated $7,688, has to subsidize part of the cost of lessons for their team members, as well as acquire the equipment to participate in such an expensive sport.
Clark Bars, with a recommendation of $1,400, requested an additional $1,100. After taking various measures to improve their group over the years, they need more money for performances as well as getting necessary equipment to produce an album.
Ballroom Dance was recommended an allocation of $6,000 and asked for an additional $1,000. They need the money for a trainer and other equipment to keep members in their club and continue putting on performances.
South Asian Student Association requested a $700 increase from their $4,300 recommendation. The group has been expanding on campus and needs the money to improve their programming.
Millennium Leadership Conference is a three-day conference every year on diversity and leadership. They requested an additional $1,500 from their $7,000 allocation for this conference, especially for the purpose of booking a keynote speaker.
Ultimate Frisbee requested a $3,800 increase from their $1,000 allocation. Their women’s team is expanding rapidly, and they need money for that, as well as transportation for tournaments.
Since Council had only $3,798 to allocate, and these requests total $12,662, it was not possible to satisfy every club’s needs in full. Only 30% of the money requested could be funded. For this reason, three distributive packages were developed.
The first of these packages gave each group thirty percent of their request. The idea behind this package is that it distributes money evenly to every club. Arguments in favor of this package cited that the budget allocation meeting is only about money, not judging the relative worth of student organizations.
Packages two and three sought to consider the merits of each request and allocate funds in the manner that they considered the most just, keeping
in mind that groups that do not receive the funding they want, they can make special or PCF requests in the future.
After heated debate, in which many club members spoke their minds, it was determined that the second package would be the most appropriate. Hip Hop Collabo received $0, CUBS received $650, Model UN received $800, Salsa received $0, CMT received $600, Equestrian received $200, Clark Bars received $400, Ballroom Dance received $439, SASA received $200, MLC received $0, and Ultimate Frisbee received $500.
CUSC and the student groups solved this financial brouhaha rather admirably. Everyone at the meeting was respectful, ideas were presented reasonably, and nobody thought selfishly. In fact, several clubs recommended packages that gave their club less money but they felt were better for Clark as a whole. And so this week we saw a shining example of democracy at work, and a good time was had by all.