Spending nearly half the remaining money in its special appropriations line, the Student Finance Board (SFB) gave $15,000 to the Senior Class Council for the three-day “Senior Week” leading up to graduation with a 9-5-1 vote.
While the Senior Class Council originally asked for $16,950 from SFB, Craig Gross, SFB chairperson, made it clear that he would veto any amount over $15,000 for the event. Chris Tuohy, senior class treasurer, explained that 635 students – close to half the senior class – had already registered for the event.
He said the class council was able to cut $13,965 from the total budget of the event, although some costs did rise from those used for last year’s Senior Week.
For example, the cost to bus seniors to the send-off event, a semi-formal dinner, was $3,754 more than last year because the committee hired charter buses rather than school buses for the event.
The class council also built $2,300 into its budget to pay assistants, who in the past would volunteer, to set up for the event.
Ravi Kaneriya, Student Government Association (SGA) representative, said none of Senior Week should be funded because the event isn’t open to all members of the College, as SFB policy requires of funded events.
Gross said, however, that because every student will eventually be a senior and there are no restrictions for attendance other than being a senior and 21 or older, the event isn’t considered exclusive under SFB policy.
While some on the board said that there was “fat” in the Senior Week budget that could be trimmed, others defended the cost of the event.
“Those who are not seniors, you will be,” Bill Carroll, director of finance, said. “We’re only spending $25 a person.”
Kyle Brownlie, junior representative, made a motion to give Senior Week only $10,000, but that motion failed 1-11-2.
“I don’t think people are getting the point (of the Student Activities Fee),” Julia Pratt, director of communications, said. “Everyone pays into it. They should get to do what they want.”
“If we keep cutting it down and down, my Senior Week is going to be a pizza party,” Jon Borst, sophomore representative, said.
The board gave no funding to Intramural Tennis’ $6,468 request to attend the USA Team Tennis National Campus Championships in San Diego by a vote of 10-4. SFB policy does not allow intramural teams to receive money for conferences, but Elyse Tanner, tennis captain, said that the team is waiting for SGA to process paperwork that will recognize it as a club sport.
“We have to subscribe to the rules and precedents we set,” Kaneriya said about the club’s recognition.
“They compete as a club,” Borst argued. “They see themselves as a club. They compete as club tennis.”
Even after Gross trimmed the request to $3,100 by not sending the team out two days earlier for practice, the board could not fund the entire request, as only $1,500 remains in the board’s conference line.
SFB tabled a $3,500 request from ink, the College’s literary organization, for visiting writer Dan Pope to hold a six-week lecture series. While ink advisor Catie Rosemurgy said the series would give prospective writers a wealth of information from an established writer, Gross said SFB policy does not allow the Student Activities Fee (SAF) to fund College faculty.
The request was tabled so that SFB can meet with the English department and learn more about Pope’s role as faculty.
The board also tabled a five-year financial plan presented by TCNJ Crew. According to the plan, SFB would spend over $30,000 in five years to purchase items such as a new boat, coaches and water time for the team to practice. To date, the board has already spent $15,316 on the team.
Gross said that when the executive board met to discuss the issue, it was concerned that while this year’s leadership on the team might be strong, it might not continue five years from now.
“Either we stop now, cut our losses or we buy them the boat and tell them to fund the rest,” Carroll suggested.
Cheonette Petion, director of external relations, took a harder line. “They need to cut their losses and run,” she said.
Gross said the plan would be tabled until the board learned more about the kind of insurance necessary for the boats.