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.
A representative from the Newman Club, Swarthmore’s Catholic interest group, requested money for their Spring Break service trip to David, Kentucky. Six people will go to build a sustainable farm and repair housing. They have discussed funding from the Lang Center, who directed them to draw funding for the SBC.
In turn, the SBC advised the Newman Club to look for alternative sources of funding, for example from the Dean’s office or Interfaith. The service element of the trip to Appalachia was emphasized by SBC Chair Toby Levy ‘16, who said it is “not a Spring Break trip. Not a fun free-for-all to relax. This is a service based and religious experience.”
The request for funding was tabled for further discussion to give time for the Newman Club to source funding from alternative organizations.
Swarthmore Asian Organization
SAO has an annual conference with the East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU). However, this year’s conference is in Boston and is further than usual. SAO requested an additional $125.08 in transportation funds. Due to the fact that this conference is attended every year, funding was instantly proposed and unanimously passed.
Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team
The Men’s Ultimate team requested a new sets of jerseys for their incoming team members. It has been three years since the last purchase of jerseys. Currently, players are to contribute $20 for each jersey set, with $70 to be funded by the SBC. $1,241 was proposed and passed unanimously for 17 new jersey sets. Having jerseys fall under ‘capital replacement’ to be re-evaluated three years was proposed and was praised as a good idea. There was a consistent comparison to how the Women’s Ultimate team is funded in order to keep funding for both teams relatively equitable.
The team also requested funding for registering for tournaments. There are four Ultimate tournaments each semester, but two tournaments last year were cancelled due to rain and thus funding was not spent. This caused the Ultimate team’s budget to be cut for the Spring semester. The SBC asked the team if they could hypothetically decrease the number of tournaments they play in order to fit into the budget. In the end, $1,016 to fund registration and $1,730 to fund transport was unanimously passed.
SBC funded three of the six requested hockey sticks for the hockey team this semester. However, all three hockey sticks have broken. $473.32 in funding was swiftly and unanimously passed for replacing their hockey sticks.
Woman’s Ultimate Frisbee Team
The Woman’s Ultimate team has received a surge in new members, which means they need additional funding to register 12 more players for tournaments. $624 in funding was unanimously passed.
Swarthmore Chinese Society
A full and frank discussion ensued when the SCS requested $330 in funds for an off-campus dinner to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Citing SBC by-laws, Chairman Levy stated that such a requested was impossible as groups may only request funds for on-campus dining events.
However, SCS Co-President George Zhu ‘17 cited a precedent where SAO was given money for a karaoke night in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.
Levy was surprised and investigated the reasons why the karaoke night was funded when it seemed ineligible on the face of it. Fellow SBC managers later revealed that the karaoke night was also used for SAO to facilitate their “Big-sib, Little-sib program”.
In response, Zhu said that on-campus catering for Chinese New Year was far more expensive this year, costing over $500, which was why he wanted to ask SBC for a cheaper alternative of $330 for an off-campus dinner in Chinatown. Levy doubled down on the SBC by-laws while expressing sympathy to Zhu’s attempts to request less money.
“We can’t break precedent for any group,” added SBC member Varun Prasad ‘16. For the SBC, money was less than an issue than keeping in line with precedent. Instead, $250 was proposed for an on-campus Chinese New Year event. It was the only non-unanimously passed resolution of the night, with the motion passing 4-3.
Forum for Free Speech
In a departure for funding requests, Forum of Free Speech’s chairman Henry Zhang came to discuss how to manage their surplus of money. The FFS has a $27,500 budget and is projected to not be able to use all that money by the end of the year. Currently, they have $20,000 and have a line up of five speakers costing $3,000 each.
Zhang lamented on the lack of effective advertising solutions on Swarthmore’s campus and says “people don’t go out of the way” to discover events. Zhang wanted to create a better website for FFS, as well as to propose for a campus-wide calendar of events with Assistant Director of Student Activities, Mike Elias.
Zhang also proposed returning some of the money to the SBC. However, SBC is not allowed to accept such refunds until the end of the year. Instead, SBC members advised Zhang to co-ordinate with Swarthmore’s diverse range of student clubs to see if they want to bring in speakers.
SBC discussed the issue of chartering, which was halted to conserve the budget. Members proposed to re-evaluate using the fall semester’s chartering process to register new groups in the spring.