By Joe Wlos
Skirmishes over SGA’s Fall 2012 Budget crippled Joint Board this week. The meeting dragged on for over two hours as senators badgered cabinet with questions about SGA’s large “rollover fund,” which might soon be invested in the College’s endowment.
Senator Brian Silberberg ’14 and Senator Solomon Miller ’13 repeatedly asked if organizations, such as the Concerts Committee, could use larger budgets this semester to complete old projects or start new ones. They said their goal was to spend “student money.”
“This is not just our fund,” SGA Treasurer Raghav Malik ’13 said, explaining why investment was the best strategy. “This is a fund from many classes, saved over the years.”
But according to Sam Offenberg ’14, some of that money was never supposed to be saved. During Soapbox, he presented a resolution from several years ago, which he said instructed SGA to increase funding for Student Initiatives by $20,000. For some reason, that money never reached StiFund.
This supposed oversight, if true, could have serious repercussions for the rest of the budget. However, Malik disputes this interpretation, writing in an email that the resolution provides a $20,000 cap on expenditures, not a $20,000 addition to the StiFund budget.
Cabinet reports were extremely brief. Last year, cabinet reports to Joint Board covered almost every issue facing the College, encouraging senators to engage in debate and disperse information to constituents.
This week, there was debate about how much Cabinet could even report. For several minutes, senators asked VPSA Sivan Philo ’13 about alcohol contracts for 10/10, which will be held on October 6 this year. Cabinet was unclear on whether alcohol contracts had been denied for the original date, October 13, and who in the administration had potentially denied them. RLC Dan Hirsch had to step in to clarify the information.
Concerts Chair Pooj Padmaraj ’13 presented a rare bright spot for the evening. His PowerPoint on concerts, which included funding information, concert reports, and comparisons to other colleges, was interesting and impressive.