SFB discusses funding for honor societies

The Student Finance Board (SFB) zero-funded a $764 request from Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society, by a vote of 11-3 at its March 23 meeting. The organization’s request also sparked a conversation on whether the board should fund departmental honor societies.

The society’s new budget request included $14 for photocopying expenses, $50 for office supplies and $700 for 20 of its members to go on a whitewater rafting trip. Judit Kardos, society advisor, said the society had more qualified members in recent years and membership has doubled.

Kardos said the rise in membership is the reason why the society now asks for funding from SFB. She said the group participates in math competitions and honors achievements in mathematics.

The board felt the society was asking for money for programs that were already done by the College’s Math and Statistics Club. The board was concerned that it was being asked to fund dual organizations in departments – a general interest club for the subject and an honors society for department.

“This is getting out of control,” Ravi Kaneriya, Student Government Association (SGA) representative, said. “Why do we need a Math/Stat Club and an honor society?”

While SFB policy does allow funding of honor societies if they have an “associate member” status where non-inducted members can attend club functions, there was concern that such a distinction made honor societies no different than a general-interest club.

“If you’re going to have an exclusive honor society, keep it exclusive,” Craig Gross, chairperson, said.

By a vote of 9-2-3, the board funded $1,132 of a $2,041 request from the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to send seven members to the organization’s national conference in Boston, Mass.

The conference was held March 23-27 and NSBE members would be leaving, with or without the funds, half an hour after they presented.

NSBE’s liaison, Matthew Civiletti, SGA vice president of administration and finance, took responsibility for the late presentation. He said the request had been in his mailbox in the SFB office for some time, but he didn’t pick it up until recently.

Andrea Conover, NSBE treasurer, said the organization’s presence at the conference would allow club members to meet the regional and national executive boards. Two senators from the College’s chapter would also vote on amendments to the national NSBE constitutions and resolutions.

“It keeps (the College’s) NSBE (chapter) as an active organization,” Conover said.

While NSBE did attend a conference in the fall, SFB policy allows clubs to attend an extra conference if it is necessary to keep the club active in a national organization.

SFB would normally only fund the two senators to go to the conference, the bare minimum, but some questioned whether SFB should chip in for others because the request was delayed for so long.

“It was an error on our part and now NSBE’s members have to pay for this,” Kaneriya said.

The board ended up funding just over half of the request, requiring a $190 contribution from each attending member.

The board unanimously voted to appropriate $1,475 the White Ribbon Campaign, an organization committed to fighting domestic abuse, to bring Christopher Kilmartin, a professor of psychology from the University of Mary Washington to the College. Kilmartin will present his lecture, “Guy Fi: The Fictions That Rule Men’s Lives,” on April 13 and visit classes on April 14.

The board was especially impressed that the group was able to raise $1,825 toward the presentation from other sources, including the athletic department, Second Year Government and Liberal Learning committee.

The board also approved several large requests easily. The Black Student Union (BSU) received $3,707 for its annual fashion show to take place on April 15 in Kendall Hall by a vote of 12-1. The show, entitled “Forbidden Fruit,” will model a variety of different fashions, from business to bedroom attire.

The College Union Board (CUB) also received $4,330 to bring “The Verdict” to the College on April 13 for Lions’ Fest by a unanimous vote. By the same vote, CUB also received $129 toward a bus to bring students to the April 17 game of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football team.

Women’s Lacrosse received $952 in additional game fees 13-0-1, while the Bod Squad, a club that fights unhealthy body images, received a new club budget of $276 12-1-1.