The Student Finance Board (SFB) debated the parameters by which events can profit from Student Activities Fee (SAF) funds at its first meeting of the semester.
While SFB did not fund a request co-sponsored by ink, Inter-Greek Council (IGC) and All College Theater (ACT) due to SFB policy prohibiting organizations from making a profit at SFB-funded events, the board allowed Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IV) and Gospel Choir a $300 “break-fast” meal that would serve as the end of their “30 Hour Famine” to raise money for a hunger charity.
Accordingly, SFB zero-funded ink, IGC and ACT’s request for $375 for Wired! (a 24-hour play competition that ran from last Friday into Saturday. Sarah Maloney, ink president, said that she would like the board to pay the costs for supplies for the event and then allocate the profits from ticket sales into the fund-raising lines of the event’s co-sponsoring organizations.
However, the SFB handbook states that no SFB money can be used for an event where the sole purpose is to fund-raise for a club or for a charity.
As a result, SFB would not agree to do this and left ink with two options: count on ticket sales to cover the costs and keep any profits or accept SFB money and return any profits to SFB.
Bill Carroll, director of finance, suggested that SFB form a box office line for ink in which the excess money could be kept and then used for future programs. The College Union Board (CUB) currently has that setup.
Craig Gross, SFB chairperson, said that CUB is a special case, as the organization uses the box office revenue to make up for shows that do not meet projected ticket sales.
In the end, the board agreed it would be better for ink and its co-sponsors to take their chances with ticket sales so that the organization could move any profits into its fund-raising line.
Gospel Choir and IV’s controversial request, which did receive funding of $300 by a vote of 12-1-1, was for money to support their “30 Hour Famine” fund-raiser to raise money for World Vision, a non-profit organization fighting hunger.
Jamie Gruskos, outreach director from IV, said that the food was for the organization as an “after event” not as a way to fund-raise, and that the advertisements the organizations were asking for would only raise awareness about hunger, not promote the event itself.
Although the majority of them voted to fund the event, some members of SFB doubted whether the money was for a club activity or just a way to get around the no fund-raising requirement.
IV also received $650 by an 8-7 vote for a separate request of $1,275 to bring Quest, a Christian video series, to the College. Gruskos said that the seven-week program discusses spiritual and life issues from a Christian perspective. “We want a laidback atmosphere where people can tell us their views,” she said.
What concerned SFB, however, was the proposed cost of $1,000 to provide seven weeks of food to the estimated 75 attendees at each screening. Tori Barrett, IV president, later backed off that figure, saying that IV only expected 35 people per week and that $450 for food would be enough.
“If these programs aren’t good enough on their merits to go to, why do we have to constantly feed them?” Carroll asked the board while in discussion.
Others on the board felt the size of the group’s request wasn’t worth the half-hour the board spent debating about it.
“It just doesn’t seem right to me that we’re tearing them apart over $25,” Julia Pratt, director of communications, said.
The board initially voted 7-7 to give the group $450 for the program, which failed when Gross broke the tie by voting against it. The motion for $625, which gave IV the full $450 for food and only cut “icebreaker” games, also split the board 7-7 but passed when Gross voted for it.
The board also allocated the Art Student Association $400 for a Fine Art Thesis exhibit and a Graphic Design Portfolio review by a 12-1-1 vote.
Voice of Hope, the College Christian a cappella group, received $90 for its spring semester concert by a unanimous vote, and the American Civil Liberties Union at TCNJ received $275 for a new club budget by a vote of 12-1.