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.
Swarthmore Asian Organization
Two representatives from the SAO requested $38 for a tea party/board game night, with an extra $10 for utensils that can be reused. After a brief discussion, full funding was proposed and passed unanimously, with one SBC member abstaining.
The Squash Club
The Squash Club requested $694 to cover transportation and services for their upcoming trip to Connecticut for a national competition. $300 were to be spent on a hotel to house the 13-member team for a weekend, while the rest of the funds were designated for renting a 15-seat van from an external company. While SBC observed that the trip was within the range where the group could rent a Swarthmore van, it was determined that it would be less expensive to rent the van from an external company.
Full funding was proposed and passed unanimously.
The Fencing team requested $750 to cover the cost of supplies and equipment. Currently, the group is unable to adequately equip squads for matches, and the $40-50 in their account is not sufficient to cover the cost of new equipment.
SBC member Josh Wolfsun ‘16 noted that the group had previously allocated money from spring budgeting for supplies. The team representative identified several reasons for the unexpectedly high cost, such as equipment getting lost or stolen during tournaments, unavoidable wear and tear, and the tendency of less-experienced members to be harder on the equipment.
Additionally, the group requested funds to equip two fencers who qualified for the US National Team, which has a higher standard for equipment. SBC resolved to postpone this portion of the proposal.
After an extended discussion, the team representative identified $600 as the bare minimum needed to keep the group functioning. After a failed $653 proposal, SBC unanimously passed a proposal of $603.40.
Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee
The Men’s and Women’s Ultimate teams requested $1290 to pay for transportation to South Carolina for their annual spring break training trip. The overwhelming majority of the funds needed for the trip came from the team members themselves, with 48 out of the 52 players agreeing to contribute $250.
Representatives from both teams explained that the trip was an essential part of the training needed for the teams to be competitive. The teams would train for 6 hours a day for 6 days, which could not be done in the Philadelphia area due to the cold weather.
The proposal spurred an intense discussion in the meeting: while the committee members acknowledged that the proposal itself was reasonable, some were concerned about the murky precedent it set. “The problem with spring break trips is that we don’t want to pay for fun,” SBC Chair Toby Levy ‘16. “You can’t gauge fun,” Wolfsun responded. Ultimately, SBC voted 4-1 to fully fund the $1290 proposal.
Spring Break Trip Discussion
After proposals, SBC discussed the issue of whether groups should receive funding for spring break trips. Although prompted by the Ultimate teams’ proposal, the discussion covered the broad issue of how SBC should fund spring break trips in general, if at all.
Multiple committee members raised the point that the teams could potentially train at an indoor field in Philadelphia. This led to speculation about how SBC could determine the cheapest possible cost of accomplishing the trip’s goal, which the committee agreed should be funded.
“When we have the constraints on our budget that we do, how can we justify doing that for Frisbee and for every other group?” said Levy. “There needs to be some way of measuring what the baseline is […] then, if you want to do more than that with your own money, that is entirely the group’s prerogative.”
After a thorough discussion, the issue remained unresolved. Levy expressed a desire to devote a future meeting to further discussion.