Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
This year, The Daily Gazette will provide coverage and summaries of weekly Student Budget Committee (SBC) meetings. These reports will contain a summary of proposals made to SBC each week, and coverage of discussion among Committee members.
Movie Committee requested to transfer $1,000 from Spring Fling budget to the The Graduate screening budget.
Members of SBC pointed out that retroactive funding violates SBC bylaws, but Fialkow pointed out that The Graduate screening has still not been paid for. Committee member Joshua Wolfsun ‘16 said that this would still qualify as retroactive funding, but it is acceptable because Movie Committee is a focused funding committee. The proposal to transfer the money was passed unanimously.
Mountain Justice requested an additional $254.27 to pay for a website service called Nation Builder. Mountain Justice representative Stephen O’Hanlon ‘17 explained that Mountain Justice has been using a free trial of Nation Builder and would like to continue. O’Hanlon said that Nation Builder is better than other free services available due to a wider range of services. Wolfsun responded, “it’s nice to have these features…but it’s better to have a breakdown of why this specifically is necessary.”
Alternative sources of funding, such as Media Services, were discussed. SBC voted to table the request until after Fall Break, when Mountain Justice can return with more specific reasons to pay for Nation Builder.
Terpsichore requested an additional $200 for a paint dance piece, which will take place separately from their annual show. Additional money is needed for paint, sheets, supplemental costumes. A videographer is also needed, Terpsichore representatives explained, because the group archives all work they do, and this particular piece will be screened at their larger show later in the semester. The videographer will most likely be paid through student payroll, costing roughly $96.
The proposal to fully fund the request was passed unanimously.
The Phoenix requested $3,899.04 to cover future expenses. Because the Phoenix budget was “cut significantly” during spring budgeting, said Phoenix business manager Aaron Kroeber ‘16, without this additional funding they will need to make significant changes to stay on budget this year.
Members of SBC proposed a number of money-saving options, including cutting the number of issues printed each week, printing in black-and-white instead of color, and reverting back to their previous format rather than broadsheet. Kroeber said that switching back from broadsheet would be “difficult and time-consuming.”
There were four funding proposals made: $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, and $3,000. The first two passed unanimously, the proposal for $2,000 passed 4-3, while the proposal for $3,000 failed 1-6. This vote resulted in SBC giving The Phoenix $2,000.
The fencing team requested to transfer $425 from their registration budget to income. Typically the team pays registration fees for Swarthmore’s own fencing tournament, which essentially meant paying themselves. The proposal to transfer the full sum was passed unanimously.
The team also discussed transportation for their upcoming tournament at Northwestern. Due to the distance, weather conditions, and resulting safety concerns, the team is requesting funds to charter a bus, rather than relying on student drivers. The proposal to subsidize these travel costs with $1,000 was passed unanimously.
Quidditch team representatives Cole Harbeck ‘15 and Elaine Zhou ‘16 requested an additional $41 in order to purchase regulation bludgers. The bludgers the team has been using are prone to causing injury, said Zhou. After some debate among SBC members whether it was more accurate to have bludgers cause injury, the proposal to fully fund the request passed unanimously.
Halcyon requested an additional $9,500 in retroactive funding. Halcyon was originall given $23,500 in spring budgeting, but that amount was cut to $14,000 in mid-July. Between initial approval and the summer cuts, former Halcyon treasurer signed a contract with Jostens, a printing company, for $23,500. According to SBC members, it was “very explicitly” stated during spring budgeting that the first round decisions are not final, and SBC bylaws forbid retroactive funding.
SBC members agreed they were not able to fund the proposal, and asked Halcyon representatives if they had any other sources of funding available to cover the difference. Representatives shared that Halcyon has $20,000 in income, and it was agreed the additional $9,500 needed to cover printing costs would come from that account.
After group proposals were complete, SBC discussed possible future difficulties that may arise this year. In the 2013-2014 academic year, 36 new student groups were chartered by Student Council, which has raised concerns among committee members that budget cuts will be necessary. “There’s going to have to be a tightening of belts on all groups this year,” said Wolfsun, “due to the fact that there’s not enough money to go around.”
SBC also discussed implementing a mentoring program, where SBC members meet with club treasurers each semester. This program, SBC hopes, will help club treasurers and ensure SBC is aware of any potential problems.