SFB admits to inconsistent allocation standards

Long-running arguments about the Student Finance Board’s (SFB) way of allocating money to conferences and sports conference requests in particular came to a head at the board’s Feb. 16 meeting.

While the board did allocate funds to Club Tennis, Women’s Rugby and Women’s Volleyball, some members expressed displeasure at what they considered a lack of following standards and guidelines when considering conference requests.

Women’s Rugby, which requested $424, received $323 on a 9-3 vote to send 20 members to its Division II match game in Fredricksburg, Va.

Club Tennis was recently recognized as a club sport by SGA, allowing them to come up again with a previous request.

The organization received $781 of its previously zero-funded $6,468 request by an 8-2-2 vote to send 15 members to San Diego for the USA Team Tennis National Campus Championships.

Women’s Volleyball received $815 of its $1,909 request to send 11 students to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Volleyball Club Championship in Kansas City, Mo. by a vote of 6-3-1.

“We’re using totally different standards for all of these decisions,” Bill Carroll, director of finance, said.

Craig Gross, chairperson, said it was impossible to have consistent decisions considering the volume of requests and decisions SFB has to make.

“When you have over 100 different organizations, there is no basis,” he said. “There’ll always be differences.”

But Gross did say that he felt that the board lacked consistency even when considering several requests during the same meeting.

“The board needs at least a framework for some sort of consistency,” Jon Borst, sophomore representative, said.

In the past, the board has given organizations more money to attend less expensive conferences, while it has funded organizations attending more expensive conferences with a smaller percentage of the cost, reasoning that the attendees could cover more of the cost themselves.

While SFB policy does state that a club attending a conference must pay half of the cost for the conference from non-SFB sources, that policy is just a starting point, not an absolute.

For example, the board funded only 9 percent of the total cost of the tennis conference trip, while it funded 45 percent of the cost of rugby team’s trip.

Gross said that he would allocate the first hour of the Feb. 23 meeting to discuss conference request policy in general.

The board zero-funded a request from The Siren, one of the College’s two literary magazines, for $2,950 for a spring issue by a vote of 10-0-2.

Gross said that the board agreed at its budget clinic last year to allocate funds for one issue of The Siren for the year.

Adrienne Colyard, president of The Siren, said she was unaware that the board had only allocated for one issue and “would have done things differently” in last semester’s issue if she had known.

Gross said the board hoped that The Siren would work with The Lion’s Eye, the College’s other literary magazine, to publish a joint issue and save on publishing costs.

Colyard said The Siren is willing to work on a joint issue but has sensed The Lion’s Eye staff is less willing to cooperate with the pub.

Gross said he is willing to meet with both magazine staffs to research the viability and cost of a joint spring issue, and that the board would reconsider its decision if the two magazines present a join request.

The Asian American Association (AAA) received $2,085 for its annual Mystique of the East celebration in Kendall Hall by a 10-1-1 vote.

Enrique Melencio, former treasurer of AAA, said the event is a production that uses traditional and modern dance, songs, poetry and other talents to showcase a variety of Asian cultures.

The Student Government Association (SGA) received $1,096 of a $1,326 request on a 9-1-1 vote to pay for its annual elections.

While SGA received funds for voting machines, the board cut by half its request for 4,184 photocopies.

Club Baseball received a new club budget of $300 to pay its registration fee for its fall season on an 11-0-1 vote.

SFB deferred its request for equipment until the fall, when the board considers capital equipment requests.

The College Union Board (CUB) received $665 for a charter bus to New York City to see “Rent” by a 10-2 vote while Voice of Hope, the College’s Christian a cappella group, received $161 by a 10-2 vote to perform at Columbia University.