The Student Finance Board’s concerns over cost-effectiveness at its meeting last week almost derailed the National Association of Black Accountant’s request for $1,404.20 to send 10 members to the Eastern Region Student Conference.
“Our goal is to have a stronger chapter at TCNJ,” Andrea Conover, NABA’s president said. “Our professional chapter is urging us to go.”
Cheonette Petion, director of external relations and NABA member, said the professional chapter had actually threatened to revoke recognition from the College chapter unless the club “showed its face” at a conference.
But the description of the conference, in which members would be able to network and promote their own professional careers, raised red flags to other board members.
“This is the kind of request we were trying to get away from last year,” Julia Pratt, director of communications, said. “The personal contribution needs to get raised” from the proposed contribution of $30 per person.
SFB Chairperson Craig Gross said that the board had set targets for organizations to contribute 50 percent of the cost of a conference to save SFB money.
Even after a proposal to cut the number of members going to five and raise the contribution to $50 a person, however, SFB would still be paying over 75 percent of the cost of the conference.
“We can’t make an exception (to the general policy) today,” Gross said.
While Jonathan Borst, sophomore representative, suggested SFB only pay for the cost of the hotel and have members pay the $80 registration fee, it was a motion for $755 that would send five members and raise the personal contribution to $50 a person that passed 7-5-1.
The Homecoming Committee’s request for $598 to fund additional costs for a float-building competition and costs associated with its annual Lip Sync and Dance performance was tabled.
Tim Asher, Associate Director of Student Activities, raised concerns about the necessity of the money.
He pointed out the usual 1,000-person attendance at the event with a $3 per person fee would most likely make the money requested unnecessary.
“This is something that everyone on campus goes to,” Pratt, who is also the Homecoming Committee treasurer, said.
“I just don’t know they need this money,” Asher replied.
The Gay Union of Trenton State at TCNJ (GUTS) received full funding of $2,310 with 11-2 to bring Ember Swift, a comedy and band troupe, to the Rat.
Kristofer Disharoon, senior representative, raised concerns about the cost, and said that he thought GUTS could negotiate the price down a few hundred dollars.
“I want to see some attempt to negotiate,” he said, also offering to work with GUTS to negotiate with the booking agent.
“We can take the money back if they can get the price down,” Bill Carrol, director of finance, said.
SFB was also concerned that although GUTS wants to hold the event in the Rat, the organization has not actually booked the venue yet.
If GUTS had to choose a different venue, SFB still would be required to pay for it, since the board had authorized the bid.
Although the request passed, SFB would not authorize GUTS to bid until the organization had a contract with the Rat for the proposed date.
SFB voted 9-2 to fund the Indian Student Association (ISA) $402 for the organization’s new club budget and its first event of the year, “dance meltdown.”
SFB had originally voted 8-3 to fully fund the club at $477. Gross, however, vetoed the motion because it included $75 for an end of the year picnic and refreshments at meetings.
“We felt very strongly about (cutting these types of items) at last year’s budget retreat,” Gross said, pointing out that SFB removed its own end-of-the-year appreciation dinner from its budget.
SFB chose to fully fund the Physics Club’s $185.40 request to go to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
SFB also approved the College Union Board’s two requests for bus trips.
The first is to Total Request Live at MTV in New York City, while the other is to the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania for the organization’s annual Halloween trip.
SFB also funded $771 for the new club budget of the Poker Club to buy chips and put up publicity, despite the board’s concerns about buying $620 worth of equipment for a new, unproven club.