By Joe Wlos
Monetary matters dominated this year’s first SGA Joint Board session. In her report, SGA President Colleen Osborne ’13 informed Joint Board that the College is considering partially dropping its need-blind admissions policy in order to increase the school’s revenue from tuition. The administration hopes that this will lessen the strain on the College’s endowment.
“The school is looking into restructuring its financial aid policies,” Osborne said. “That includes considering a variety of options, whether it be increasing the number of full-pay students, increasing gift giving or reaching more into our endowment.”
SGA Treasurer Raghav Malik ’13 also focused his report on the endowment. SGA is considering investing close to $50,000 in Grinnell’s endowment to earn more interest on its reserve funds. SGA already has about $175,000 invested in the endowment.
“At the end of the fiscal year, if there’s money left over, it rolls over into this reserve account. Over the past twelve or fifteen years, it’s added up,” Malik explained. “We think that we might reinvest in that fund.”
After speaking with David Clay, the College’s Chief Investment Officer, the SGA Cabinet began planning to move money into the endowment, while leaving a small pool of cash to cover over-budgeting. SGA already receives close to $7,000 a year from its endowment investment—the $50,000 addition might raise that sum considerably.
However, more available money only seems to cause more tension. Senator Solomon Miller ’13 proposed adding $408 to the budget for Grinnell’s paintball organization. After Malik warned that an “excess of generosity” early in the year might cripple the SGA budget, Miller pointed out that SGA does not always use all of its funding.
“Why not use that money to play paintball?” Miller asked.
“Yes, we should spend all of our money,” Malik said, “and we should give everyone a good time, but we should also be fiscally responsible.”
Joint Board failed to pass Miller’s amendment to the paintball budget, after other senators expressed concerns that the money would not benefit a large enough group of students.
Osborne introduced Chinar Verma ’13 as the candidate for SGA Outreach Coordinator. Osborne said that Verma will help bring “more inclusion, more unity, and more direct-feedback.” After introducing Verma, Osborne also informed senators that Bonnie Brooks ’15 and Alexa Reynolds ’13 were nominated by Cabinet to join Joint Board, after “No Confidence” won in elections off-campus and on East.
VPSA Sivan Philo ’13 updated Joint Board on the progress of this year’s 10/10 organizing team. Originally, the massive mobile party was planned for Oct. 13. However, the Grinnell Board of Trustees will be meeting on that day, so organizers have shifted the date to Oct. 6.
Finally, ex-senator Alex Krempely ’13 asked Joint Board to “be nice to [Presiding Officer] Peter Aldrich ’15 this year,” even though he may sometimes be an “a**hole.”
Later, Aldrich noticed a typo on the agenda for the meeting. The Campus Rabbi was referred to as the “Campus Rabbit.” After laughing for several seconds, Aldrich wishfully said, “I like the idea of a Campus Rabbit.”
Perhaps Peter Rabbit can help Peter Aldrich soften his image before next week’s meeting.