image credit: Maddie Covino

*****************************UPDATED April 17, 2019 3:00 p.m.*****************************

A drafted policy from the Student Activities Fee Oversight Committee allows governing boards to circumvent the standard conference proposal process. The student body should not stand for clubs not being given equitable treatment.

The proposal states, “We propose that professional development conferences for the governing boards, Inter-Greek Council (IGC), Coordinators of Activities and Programming Events (CAPE), and Student Government Association (SGA) be an annual line allocation from the [Student Activities Fee] Oversight Committee totaling $32,000.” The full proposal can be found here.

A governing board is defined in the proposal as a club with “increased expectations, responsibilities, advising/oversight and specific purpose and service to the student body.” They are given an advisor within the Office of Student Involvement. This advisor is intended to steer the club in times of good fortune, but to keep the club afloat when things get rockier.

It’s no stretch to say that things have been rocky this semester. SGA, under the advising of Colleen Lubin, has had difficulties filling a full twenty-four member Senate, not to mention the other half of its six-member executive board for next year that has yet to be filled. In the fall, prior to elections, SGA will have seven members.

IGC, under the advising of Michelle Scali, has faced challenges as well. The fraternity Kappa Delta Phi, governed by IGC, was removed from campus this year following reports of hazing.

CAPE, under the advising of Jimmy Ortiz and Anna Metzger, has been actively trying to coordinate events that engage students. However, students overall have not been as involved this semester. Our campus is a ghost town on the weekends, and reception of their signature events has been low.

If these three clubs are seeking special treatment, as a student it doesn’t feel like they’ve earned it.

These clubs are seeking guaranteed funding for their yearly conferences. SGA brings six members to a conference chosen yearly by the president. In the past, they have gone to LEAD365 and the National Conference for Student Leadership. IGC brings 6-12 students to the Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference. CAPE attends two yearly conferences, the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Regional Conference in the fall and the NACA National Conference in the spring, bringing 10-15 students to each.

A change to the constitution also up for discussion this evening would limit clubs to only $8,000 as maximum funding for up to two yearly conferences. The previous limit was higher, at $15,000 for up to two conferences in accordance with the current SGA constitution.

According to this policy, CAPE would be granted more money combined than they had access to in the past at $16,000 total for conferences.

The introduction of this policy feels as if the governing boards are removing themselves from the community. While SGA has already presented to the Student Activities Fee Oversight Committee in the past due to the conflict of interest, the fellow governing boards do not have the same justification for doing so.

All clubs should be held to the same standards, even governing boards. Anyone who feels the same should attend the SGA meeting tonight at 5:00 p.m. in the Penmen Room.