By Mike Stolar
Executive Director of the Student Finance Board
As Student Finance Board (SFB) Executive Director I’d like to address some of the concerns and accusations made by Venkat Ramamoorthi in last week’s issue of The Signal. Unfortunately, his article was considerably misinformed, and shows a lack of research on his part. It is easy to sit back and make accusations of your fellow students. It’s just as easy to actually put in the small amount of time and effort into researching your complaint. We make ourselves readily available to field any concerns students have, and can be reached at email@example.com.
In his article, Mr. Ramamoorthi lists the speaking fee for Mike Huckabee, but fails to state the expense for the “banquet” put on by the Student Government Association and SFB. This is because the Student Activity Fee (SAF) funded banquet is a complete fabrication. The dinner that occurred came from SGA’s own pocket — from money that they fundraised and have every right to spend how they wish. They did, however, choose to spend $1,600 of their money for new gym equipment in the Physical Enhancement Center. The accusation that SFB would choose to fund this event to have a dinner with Huckabee is baffling. Only two SFB members attended dinner with Huckabee and both serve on SGA. Additionally, neither of those members had a vote or were even present during discussion of the Huckabee request. To avoid conflicts of interest, the SFB does not permit members of the presenting club to be present during discussion of the request. Contrary to the belief of many students who choose to be uninformed, the SFB is not a corrupt organization. Each year new members campaign claiming that they will fix SFB, however upon election they are shocked to find what safeguards we have in place, and how responsible we are when allocating the SAF.
While Huckabee’s speech was shorter than I had hoped, it is important to take consideration of the many variables that come into play when scheduling an event. For instance, Huckabee, not the SGA, scheduled the time for dinner. There are always time constraints when booking events, but particularly so when hosting a prominent public figure with both a radio and TV show.
As always, I encourage students to challenge each other, however, this particular accusation is disheartening, as there was almost a complete lack of research behind this compliant. Mr. Ramamoorthi presents his opinion as fact, although it is in reality no more than rampant speculation. The members of the Student Finance Board joined to have a say in campus activities and to responsibly allocate the Student Activity Fee. Whether or not you choose to believe so, we approach that task very seriously.