Student groups send another open letter to SAC

A number of student groups and student leaders sent another open letter to the Student Activities Commission regarding the funding guideline process for clubs.

The letter—sent shortly before the Georgetown University Student Association FinApp Summit where SAC’s budget is determined—asks that SAC put its new funding guidelines up to a vote among the student clubs that are a part of SAC.

“Club leaders have had no opportunity to participate in or even observe the revision of the funding guidelines,” the letter claims.

The letter also argues that the recently instituted programming arcs inhibit creativity and undermine new boards of clubs, as the arc must be submitted the semester before the funds are allocated.

Several groups and leaders have signed on since the original letter was sent.

Read the full letter after the jump.


We, the undersigned Georgetown University student organizations and leaders, ask the Student Activities Commission (SAC) to put the new Funding Guidelines to a vote among the students clubs they serve. Because SAC did not solicit and incorporate club feedback prior to amending the Funding Guidelines, these guidelines do not reflect club interests, concerns, and programmatic realities.
The Funding Guidelines determine what types of events student clubs can hold, how much money we receive, and the process by which we obtain approvals and allocations for the next academic year. Despite how much it determines our operations for us, we have had no formal opportunity to provide feedback on the existing Funding Guidelines prior to the release of the new Funding Guidelines despite private appeals to SAC Commissioners as early as last semester and a public appeal sent one day after the Fall 2011 Budget Process was officially released.
Moreover, club leaders have had no opportunity to participate in or even observe the revision of the Funding Guidelines. SAC has no formalized system to solicit and incorporate club feedback and no formalized appeal process. We ask SAC not to assume what clubs need and want. In order to make the Funding Guidelines more reflective of club programming, the process of determining club funding must be a two way process. Clubs must be consulted.
We, as students of Georgetown University, expect a formal opportunity to offer constructive criticism of Funding Guidelines that enable us to make our own University better. In their current form, they do not address a number of problems raised by clubs. For example, the Funding Guidelines do not allow for ad-hoc approvals or allocations. Clubs cannot hold any events that are not on their Programming Arc, which is due on March 2. This inhibits creativity, undermines the authority of newly elected boards, and makes it more difficult for clubs to adapt programming to club members’ wants. It also encourages clubs to overestimate the number of events they plan on holding to leave room for event ideas to be developed. This, in turn, limits the total funding available for all clubs.
If SAC does not solicit club leadership feedback, the Funding Guidelines will continue to remain obstructive to event organization and program development. We hope for a dynamic dialogue with SAC whereby SAC can advise clubs and clubs can voice their opinions and concerns. Together, SAC and students can make Georgetown student life stronger. But separately, we’ll only tear it down.
African Society of Georgetown
Aikikai Club
Art Aficionados
Asian American Students Association
Caribbean Culture Circle
Chinese Student Alliance
College Democrats
Community Garden
Gastronomes
Hoyas for Liberty
International Relations Club
International Students Association
Iranian Cultural Society
Israel Alliance
Japan Network
Klub Polski
Korean Students Association
Undergraduate Marketing Association
Muslim Students Association
O Clube Braziliero
Philodemic Debate
PRIDE
Sophomore Class Committee
South Asian Society/Rangila
Students for Justice in Palestine
Taiwanese American Students Association
Thai Society
Women Of Color
Jesse Mirtotznik, Jewish Students Association Co-President
Sam Hyman, Ballroom Dance Team Captain
Calen Angert, GUSA President
Jason Kluger, GUSA Vice President
Mike Meaney, GUSA Presidential Candidate
Greg Laverriere, GUSA Vice Presidential Candidate
Ace Factor, GUSA Presidential Candidate
James Pickens, GUSA Vice Presidential Candidate
Charlie Joyce, GUSA Presidential Candidate
Paige Lovejoy, GUSA Vice Presidential Candidate
Mike Barclay, GUSA Senate Student Affairs Committee Chair
Clara Gustafson, GUSA Senate Community Building and Outreach Committee Chair
Colton Malkerson, GUSA Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee Vice-Chair
Ben Bold, GUSA Senate Vice Speaker
Scott Stirrett, DC Students Speak Chair; Former SAC Commissioner
William Kim, Former SAC Commissioner
Ronak Parikh, Interfaith Council Representative
Shuo Yan Tan, Diversity in Action Council International Student Representative

5 Comments on “Student groups send another open letter to SAC

  1. That’s strange, the Treasure Hunting Society of Georgetown was not reached to sign onto this letter. As the Celebrity Adviser (and founder back in my undergraduate days) of the club, I would have been more than happy to vent my frustrations concerning SAC. The new programming arc system is not at all conducive to the goals of the THSG. How are we supposed to plan events 6-8 months in advance when our treasure hunting expeditions usually start with anonymous phone calls in the night and my unexpected needs to fuel my limitless spending habits? And treasure hunting isn’t even an event category?! You have no idea the difficulties we are having creating this programming arc.

    Don’t even get me started on the travel guidelines. Our treasure-hunting takes us all over the world and we often don’t know where we are going until we find a clue hidden in some secret book in the Library of Congress or on the back of the Declaration of Independence. We can’t plan ahead for that and we certainly can’t give SAC three quotes for traveling to Vicksburg to find General Grant’s fabled golden cigar. If they could just front us the money without asking questions, we’d return their investment threefold! Can Mock Trial make that claim? But they get all the money because their “merit-based travel.” What, solving history’s greatest mysteries doesn’t count as merit-based travel? And if I have to explain to one more SAC commissioner how treasure hunting is central to our mission, I might be tempted to DRIVE ANGRY (in 3d).

    Oh and since we’re on the topic, I don’t remember seeing stealing the Declaration of Independence as being a violation of the Access to Benefits policy, so why did we get sanctioned? Oh well, I guess it didn’t really end up mattering since our next SAC commissioner didn’t even realize we were on probation (nor, for that matter, did he really even know the rules he so enjoyed enforcing).

    In conclusion, join the Treasure Hunting Society of Georgetown for our next meeting on Wednesday at 8:00 PM in White-Gravenor 202 (that is if I don’t notice something in the newspaper that puts all the clues together and makes me realize the next clue is at the old fire station in Lexington, MA). We have Doritos!

    -Ben

  2. SAC, what cowards. They won’t even have a venue for people to vent, let alone take some constructive criticism to heart.

  3. Pingback: Vox Populi » SAC amends funding guidelines

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