SFB: TCNJ Swing request tabled for unauthorized expenditure

In a busy Nov. 17 meeting, the Student Finance Board (SFB) voted 9-1-1 to table a $2,288 request from TCNJ Swing, and funded requests ranging from the Student Government Association (SGA) to the Bowling Club.

As part of the organization’s presentation, Meghan Bezio, president of TCNJ Swing, and Cheryl Caraan, Swing treasurer, demonstrated “East Coast” style swing dancing to show what the club had been learning in its lessons.

While the dance drew applause, the club’s financial situation did not.

The club explained that it had hired two instructors to provide lessons for the club for 11 weeks, at a total cost of $3,100. But the club only had $812 in its programming line to pay for the lessons plus $1,275 it had collected in membership fees.

Caraan explained that the club wished to hang onto its $1,275 to buy equipment, but that left SFB with a $2,288 bill that it had never authorized in advance.

Even if TCNJ Swing was to use its $1,275 in membership fees to pay for the lessons, SFB would have to bail the club out in the amount of $1,013.

Erica Klazmer, the club’s liaison and SFB freshman representative, defended TCNJ Swing.

She said that while the club should have confirmed that it had the funds before it signed up for the lessons, it was unaware of the changes in SFB policy.

She also said that the club thought it had the money to pay for the lessons in its budget, as it did in the past.

Kristofer Disharoon, senior representative, said that all clubs knew their budgets since April last year.

“We’re being forced into a corner to pay for money that was already spent,” he said.

The board tabled the request to investigate how many lessons the club received in appropriations in its budget at last year’s budget retreat.

In a 10-0-3 vote, SFB funded $4,678 of a $6,493 request from SGA for the organization’s “24-Hour Student Center.”

The program features food, free massages, and other events held in conjunction with other organizations, Thea Schoenberg, vice president of Student Services, said.

“I think this program is really worth the cost,” Kyle Brownlie, junior representative, said, encouraging the board not to balk at the big price tag.

But Craig Gross, chairperson, pointed out that the full cost of the program would consume a significant part of SFB’s special appropriations line.

He also said that several large commitments that the board usually funds, including Senior Week, have not even come up for funding yet, so he asked the board to keep that in mind.

Bill Carroll, director of finance, reached the approved figure by cutting “Cluck U” chicken from the menu of foods offered.

He also axed from the request pens and other giveaways, as well as a proposed rental of a bounce castle and jousting from an entertainment company.

By an 11-0-1 vote, the board approved $1,343 of a $4,367 request by the Bowling Club to attend the Coca-Cola Collegiate Classic tournament in Las Vegas on Jan. 29 and 30.

Nick Luisi, president of the Bowling Club, originally had asked the board to fund 12 members of the team to go to the tournament.

However, in response to a question by Mary Ennis, assistant chairperson, Luisi said that the Club would sacrifice the six-member B team going rather than drastically raising the club’s proposed $50 per person personal contribution.

Carroll said that he had attended the tournament two years ago with the team and that the team bowls the whole time, instead of hitting the Vegas strip.

The board compromised the cost by sending only the six-member A team and raising the personal contribution to $200 per person.

By a 9-3 vote, the board funded $711 of Synergy dance team’s $1,000 request, cutting costumes and props from the group’s proposed budget.

It also approved 11-0-1, a $2,000 request from the Leadership Development Program and the Gay Union of Trenton State at TCNJ (GUTS) to bring to the College Adrian Piper, “a performance artist and philosopher” who “crosses boundaries,” according to Juda Bennett, GUTS advisor and assistant professor of English.

The Financial Management Association, who did not show at the Nov. 10 meeting, received $105 of a $796 new budget request by a vote of 10-0-1.