SGA’s Audit of the Student Activities Fee is too Short to be Effective

One-and-a-half months is not enough time for Emory’s Student Government Association (SGA) to conduct an audit that could cause long-lasting consequences with due diligence.

While the audit’s intention is to equitably distribute the Student Activity Fee (SAF) between clubs, its limited scope will ensure that it does just the opposite — the audit will lead to the division of money in a way that may not represent the needs of Emory’s clubs. Since the audit is limited to the period of Sept. 31 to Nov. 19, midterms, fall break and Homecoming will skew findings about student participation rates. Furthermore, clubs that held activities earlier in the Fall or have larger activities planned for the Spring are unfairly punished by the audit’s time constraints. Instead of a rushed audit, SGA should have approved the proposal by College Council Vice President Hemal Prasad (19C) to extend the audit for a full year.

Because the audit is so short, there is no guarantee that its outcome will lead to fairer allocation of the SAF.

Worse, the credibility of the audit is undermined by the lack of buy-in from most divisional councils. According to SGA Executive Vice President John Priddy (19C), only the BBA Council expressed interest in the audit.

Instead of immediately implementing changes based on the audit’s results, SGA should send any proposed changes to the SAF split to an undergraduate referendum. This would add a democratic check and provide needed legitimacy to any changes. Although a shorter audit may be the most politically expedient move, its inherent limits indicate that SGA does not prioritize long-term success over short-term accomplishments. Extend the audit to a full year to ensure fairness.

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.