Top student government leaders are planning to present a bill that seeks to change the Student Activity Fee (SAF) split based on the results of a Fall 2018 audit.
The audit would track student participation in clubs and events across all undergraduate divisions because “the Student Government Association seeks to revise the Student Activity Fee Split to more equitably allocate funds to all undergraduate divisional councils, Executive agencies, and University-Wide Organizations,” according to a draft copy of the bill sent to the Wheel.
Each student pays a $92 student activity fee per semester. SGA distributes those funds to undergraduate divisional councils, executive agencies and University-wide organizations through the Fee Split.
The bill has not yet been presented to SGA.
The proposal comes after a Spring 2018 push by BBA Council and its president, Jay Krishnaswamy (16Ox, 19B), to change the SAF split so that some funding allocated to CC is redirected to BBA Council.
Krishnaswamy, SGA BBA Liason Geoffrey Tseng (19B) and BBA Council Vice President of Finance Ashley Daniels (19B) initially approached CC President Radhika Kadakia (20C) and CC Vice President Hemal Prasad (19C), asking CC to transfer more than $5,000 to BBA Council, according to Krishnaswamy and Prasad.
“They reached out to us and showed some numbers about how basically because of the number of pre-BBAs in the College going to B-school clubs and B-school events … their clubs were underfunded,” Prasad said.
Prasad said he and Kadakia were initially skeptical of transferring money to BBA Council. However, they changed their minds after Krishnaswamy said College students could be excluded from BBA clubs if BBA Council does not receive more funds, Prasad said.
“At first we were hesitant, but then the idea was thrown up in the air that if we didn’t give BBA [Council] money, College students would be excluded from BBA clubs,” Prasad said. “We want to represent the College students as best we can … so that’s why we thought that it would be in everyone’s favor to provide a short term solution.”
Krishnaswamy said he hoped for a one-time transfer to cover College students who are currently participating in BBA clubs before the SAF split could be re-worked.
“It’s tough for us to spend SAF funds on College students, so what I was saying … was that in the future, it would be very hard to support this,” Krishnaswamy said.
He added that there is “absolutely zero threats” to bar “any existing College students” from participating in BBA clubs.
CC, BBA Council and SGA are planning to hold a meeting to discuss the transfer.
“We hope to only do this once and have an audit in the meantime,” Prasad said. “At the end of the semester, we’re going to be reviewing [the audit results] to see if there has to be some fundamental allocation of the SAF — if we should be changing those percentages based on how many students are going to which events.”
The audit would require membership and attendance data for undergraduate clubs and events throughout the Fall 2018 semester. The bill would impose financial penalties on groups that do not cooperate with the audit. In addition, if divisional councils fail to meet deadlines and attend meetings as part of the audit, they will lose five percent of their Spring budget.
The bill calls for the SAF split to be revised based on how many students are participating in clubs outside their divisional school.
Although Krishnaswamy proposed a bill last spring that would have increased BBA Council’s funding from the SAF split, he told the Wheel on Monday that a change to the split may not be necessary.
“I think, long run, the goal is to get a better understanding for where the money is going,” Krishnaswamy said. “If the data shows that the SAF should stay the same, then we won’t touch it.”
Krishnaswamy said he also wanted to better unite CC and BBA Council.
“Sometimes we forget that we’re also fighting on one team,” Krishnaswamy said. “We’re not just College, we’re not just BBA — at the end of the day we’re Emory so I think that’s something we want to fix.”
CORRECTION (9/5/18 at 5:24 p.m.): In a previous version of this article, Ashley Daniels was incorrectly identified as the BBA Council Vice President of Student Clubs. In fact, she is the Vice President of Finance.