Funding Board doles out cash, sends IRC directly to jail

As if it grows on trees

Last night’s annual Funding Board meeting concluded with a slap in the face for the International Relations Club and GPB, GUSA, and SAC making out like Rich Uncle Pennybags. In the end, the Funding Board had over $116,000 left over in reserve funds.

Even after having made what I criticized as a hypersensitive effort to atone for one alumn’s email prank, the IRC still faced punishment, and the Funding Board only allotted them funds for one Fall Conference as opposed to the normal two.

That’s harsh, since it seems pretty clear that the only blame they should bear is for flimsy protections of their listserv. And in that realm, Georgetown shouldn’t be casting the first stone.

Meanwhile, SAC made off like a bandit, the Funding Board having appropriated $7,000 to them for office supplies and new computers. The January 29th print version of the Voice reported that this was SAC’s largest allocation of the Fall semester. Yes, SAC’s biggest allocation this Fall was to itself, followed by allocations to IRC, Ballroom Dance, and Mock Trial for tournaments, and LASA for their annual Gala.

SAC also scored an additional $7,000 to rent a copier—to be fair, the University won’t let them purchase a copier because of the exorbitant repair fees they entail. All the same, they may want to look into Google Docs.

GUSA also received $4,000 for office renovations, printers, and office supplies. Their requests for club funding were dropped from $22,000 to $20,000. In a bizarre twist of fate, Performing Arts got more than it asked for.

The Funding Board officially allocated the $70,000 to GPB for the Spring Kickoff Concert, which may bring Jason Mraz (seriously?) to our fair campus. $10,000-$20,000 also went to GPB for the Fall semester, at which time they say they’ll try to bring a local band to campus.

The meeting ended when the Voice landed on Boardwalk with three houses and was forced to mortgage its Leavey Center office to pay the Media Board.

Reporting by Eric Pilch. Read the Voice’s full coverage in News. Bottom line: the Hoya’s on its way out  from under the University’s thumb, and we’re not getting a climbing wall.

Photo taken from Flickr user mtsofan using a Creative Commons license.

12 Comments on “Funding Board doles out cash, sends IRC directly to jail

  1. We complain about the ANC being hyper-picky? Try SAC, the unelected body who just cut two Model UN conferences from the IRC because some kid sent out an inappropriate joke to *their own listserv*?

    This is fucking ridiculous, but because the IRC gets their money from SAC, they have to bend over and take it (or be threatened with more cuts). Asinine.

    After all this, you’d think students would start seeing the wisdom of voting where their money goes instead of letting unelected SAC members of SAC make private votes about it.

    If IRC’s 350 members each voted $20 out of the $100 they pay each year for the student activities fee, they’d get $7,000 — equal to the money kingly SAC appropriated for itself. And if they were really so offended that they refused to vote the money, well, there you go.

  2. I’ll make fun of SAC as much as the next person, but I’m pretty sure the copier is so that all of the clubs who get their funding through SAC can make flyers.

  3. That’s fair, makes way more sense in that case. SAC response?
    Copier seemed on the level to begin with, I was just shocked with how much it costs to rent.

  4. What are the implications for the Voice? Did we actually have to mortgage our office? Do we OWN the office to begin with?

  5. I still don’t think GUSA should be deciding, as I was quoted in the earlier editorial, how much money the Medieval Club should get for pizza.

    Neither should SAC.

    The Medieval Club should decide that.

    Have a vote at the end of every year, perhaps in collaboration with the GUSA Presidential vote, or further along at the end of term, giving students the ability to decide where they want to spend *their* $100 student activities fee.

    You could dole it out in 10 $10 increments, or 20 $5 increments, or 100 $1 – or however you want to do it.

    Students are given a list of all the clubs and funding boards. They can allocate money to individual groups or funding boards as a whole (SAC, GPB, etc.). Any amount of money left over – either from students choosing not to allocate it or not voting – goes to the Funding Board as a whole, to get distributed to the main funding boards like SAC, GPB, etc. to dole out.

    SAC and the other boards still get Pepsi money as well as other sources of income, so they wouldn’t be completely deprived.

    What are the benefits? It encourages better management of funds, reduces redundant clubs and efforts and encourages clubs to branch out for the benefit of the greater community in order to solicit funds. It also allows students to ‘vote with their money’ to show the most popular groups.

    Want a real performer on campus instead of Coolio or Jason Mraz? Give your money to GPB to throw a real concert!

    Groups like the Pakistani Club, Hindi Club, etc. that get separate allotments would have to justify their existence; if they’re not profitable, it would be easier to combine them into the South Asian Society and have the society throw Pakistani, Hindi, etc. events.

    And for clubs that still need money after the allotments can petition SAC for them.

    Simple, democratic and puts the students in charge. Which they should be – it’s their money, after all.

  6. I should also note that under this method, clubs would get to keep their profits.

  7. That idea presents a massive amount of problems. I’m not even sure where to begin. First of all, asking the Pakistani and Hindi club to join is completely insensitive to cultural identities. The reason the Pakistani club was founded after SAS was because Pakistani students wanted to be able celebrate their specific heritage. If there is not enough interest then the club will fizzle out on its own. Access to Benefits allows students to form any club that interests them and the Pakistani club has different interests than SAS thus giving it a right to exist. Bottom line, if a club exists, it’s because it has to under the Access to Benefits Policy.

    I cannot not even begin to comprehend the amount of logistics it would require to process the allocation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in ten dollar increments. In addition, it would completely undermind policies that exist to ensure that clubs have equal access. Clubs spending is not always proportional to their membership. Some clubs have huge memberships and don’t require much funding but under this proposal they would get massive amounts they don’t need. Same goes for small clubs that require more funding.

    There are about a million of other issues, but my brain has crashed trying process them all.

  8. “Access to Benefits allows students to form any club that interests them and the Pakistani club has different interests than SAS thus giving it a right to exist. Bottom line, if a club exists, it’s because it has to under the Access to Benefits Policy.”

    Not necessarily. While I agree that any club that wants to be able to form should, not every club that is formed should necessarily get money from the student activities fee – which is, after all, paid by every student. Group formation requires at least 12 people. Most groups don’t need that much in the way of funding. I think it would be trivially easy for a group like the Pakistani Students Club or the South Asian Society to get votes if they work for them. If they can’t, they should partner with like-minded clubs to sponsor events or be absorbed by them.

    I should also note that in this case, SAC still has Pepsi money, as well as whatever money that students’ don’t vote, to distribute. So if only 30% of students vote, 70% of money is retained by SAC to distribute as it does. So groups could still go to SAC if they still need money.

    “I cannot not even begin to comprehend the amount of logistics it would require to process the allocation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in ten dollar increments.”

    Um, it’s just like a normal election, only everyone has 100 “votes” instead of 1. So if a group ends up getting 4,000 votes, they get $4000. It’s actually very easy.

    “Some clubs have huge memberships and don’t require much funding but under this proposal they would get massive amounts they don’t need. Same goes for small clubs that require more funding.”

    Large clubs wouldn’t necessarily get massive amounts. Students don’t need to vote all their money to them. And who says that clubs with huge memberships *shouldn’t* get lots of money if the students want to give it to them?

    And for clubs with small memberships – one, actual membership does not equal student engagement. I would gladly give $5 for the Medieval Club’s Pig Roast, even though I am not a member.

    And two, by requiring voting to determine allocations, it forces clubs to become relevant to the community at large or strive to make profit and cut costs. And clubs that, after all that, still fail to get money – presumably because even members of their group don’t care about them all that much – can still go to SAC. If their activities are that important, SAC can fund them.

    Above all though, I think most clubs don’t need that much money. Only groups who travel or (like IRC) host conferences. Giving clubs free reign to spend money how they see fit, unencumbered by Georgetown bureaucracy, invites creativity and fiscal discipline – especially if they are allowed to keep their own profits.

  9. Just to point out about the GPB, I was looking through the list of artist who were voted, and I noticed that the top three entries (Mraz, Lupe, and Third Eye Blind) all are either on world tours or have prior engagements on April 18th, the day of the concert… which is absolutely ridiculous since they shouldn’t have been options in the first place. T-Pain is open, but no way is he coming for $70k…

    I will freak if we don’t get a decent artist this semester, and are forced to get a local band next semester. This is an absolute joke.

  10. Whoa, don’t freak, there are so many great local bands in DC! You need to expand your playlist. Big name doesn’t necessarily = decent: see Mraz, Jason.

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