College Council’s $4,000 Transfer an Imperfect Solution

Last week, College Council (CC) transferred about $4,000 of its executive funds to BBA Council chartered clubs and organizations frequented by students in the College, including events hosted by the Goizueta Finance Club and the Goizueta Consulting Club. When BBA Council finalized its budget for the Fall 2018 semester, they left a funding gap to be filled by CC. In order to ensure that BBA Council will not lack money required to charter these events in the future, student government leaders should either redistribute the student activities fee (SAF) or encourage funding-starved clubs to use administrative mechanisms in place to fund eligible organizations that serve students across school-wide divisions. CC and BBA Council should also improve communication to the student body concerning otherwise-ambiguous funding transfers.

A misleading Nov. 7 news article published by the Wheel, in which the source and recipients of the $4,000 were unclear, made the transfer appear underhanded and imprudent. In fact, the transfer came from CC’s executive budget, and it was a fulfillment of a previous agreement by CC to co-fund certain events hosted by BBA Council-chartered clubs with College student membership. Problems arose when CC realized they were constitutionally prohibited from directly altering the distribution of the SAF between CC and BBA Council; as such, CC Executive Board’s decision to use executive funds to ensure the success of those events was necessary and will hopefully be more than just a temporary band-aid to a larger funding issue. The transfer should be a reality check for CC and BBA Council both to produce a more effective funding system for similar events in the future and to improve communication with the Wheel to ensure students best understand the goings-on of student government.

While it’s fortunate that the transfer will allow some BBA Council-chartered organizations to fund their events, CC’s transfer should have been better publicized. Both divisional councils neglected to announce the transfer to students, and better communication would have helped students and the Wheel understand what had actually taken place. In short, financial decisions made by divisional councils ought to be broadcasted to the student population.

While CC’s actions were justified given the circumstances, BBA Council clubs should not be reliant on emergency transfers from CC to fill their annual budgets. Instead of relying on ad hoc transfers, BBA Council-chartered clubs that need additional funding due to the number of its College members should consider applying to be executive agencies, a process established after the 2017 student government split. An executive agency can receive funding from SGA, allowing them to serve students from multiple schools.

In the future, CC and BBA council should avoid such circumstances and only use the executive fund transfer as a last resort. The councils should respect the predetermined SAF split and resolve funding issues in the open.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei. Kimia Tabatabaei is a freshman legislator on College Council and recused herself from this piece.