Concert Saved, Transparency Still Lacking

After a solid Dooley’s Week and, thanks to the last-minute intervention of Campus Life, a successful Friday night concert, the student body’s emotional response to the Migos fiasco has dissipated. As argued in last week’s editorial, other parties share responsibility for the error, but questions remain for the Student Programming Council (SPC) and the Student Government Association (SGA).

At the absolute minimum, students deserve to know the dollar amount lost to the fraudulent third-party booking agency. Ideally, SPC or SGA would publish all significant financial documents for the sake of transparency.

SPC Executive Board’s March 28 Facebook post to students failed to include even an adequate explanation for their mismanagement of funds, stating “It sucks. We’re disappointed.” Members of SPC are our fellow students, but they are students who have been entrusted with a budget of about $456,140. Being “disappointed” does not equate to taking responsibility for mistakes.

As the legislative body that oversees SPC, SGA is equally culpable for the loss of student money. Former SGA President Max Zoberman (17C) stepped up and formally apologized, embodying the leadership we expect from student government. But SGA’s repeated and insufficiently-reasoned refusal to release public documents containing details of the contract calls into question SGA’s priorities. In addition to responsibly managing the Student Activities Fee fund, SGA’s primary obligation is to represent students’ concerns to University administrators. Legislators must advocate to make information as accessible as possible rather than hide behind bureaucracy.

SGA President Gurbani Singh’s (18B) campaign platform highlighted transparency, and she promised to openly admit to SGA’s mistakes. Singh, however, seems to be satisfied with her predecessor’s actions, not responding to multiple requests from the Wheel for the release of the public documents. Furthermore, beginning this year, SPC will no longer hold open elections for president, but an internal election instead. The next leader of SPC must be considerably more attentive in their oversight of large and/or expensive projects.

While it is tiresome to rehash the repetitive tales of our representatives’ mistakes, disorganized solutions and nonexistent apologies, this year’s SGA and SPC have demonstrated that they are only committed to transparency when it’s convenient.

The above editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board.