BAC Assumes CAB’s Budget

While the “Colgate bubble” may shield its students from many other things, it cannot save the campus from the economic recession that the country is currently facing. This semester, the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) has already felt the effects of the tight economy. Instead of its typical $100,000 budget, CAB will now have to go through the Budget Allocations Committee (BAC) to receive funding.

Traditionally, CAB was divided into different committees, including Music, Travel and Rec, Special Events, Take Two, Barge, Publicity and Donovan’s Pub, which were all headed by student executive leaders who applied for these paid positions. Now that the CAB budget is cut, not only are student leaders no longer paid, but also, they are not required to receive formal training.

Many leaders, like junior Allyson Poulos, are very worried about the implications of this change.

“If training isn’t required, it’s up to the leaders to ensure that CAB members have the adequate training,” Poulos said. “We also lost our freedom to decide what to do with our budget.”

In previous years, there was little regulation on spending for the group as long as they stayed within the limits of their budget. However, now that CAB must go through the BAC proposal process to get money, the group has to be very specific about what they intend to spend the funds on.

In previous semesters, CAB-sponsored events included Barge Open Mic nights, Trivia Night at Donovan’s Pub, the Top Chef competition, study breaks in the library, Winterfest, Take Two movies and of course, the Spring Party Weekend (SPW) concert. Due to the budget cut, now even future SPW events are at risk. Last year, both CAB and CLSI sponsored Lupe Fiasco and split the expenses equally. However, now that CAB will be working with Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI) and BAC, CAB is responsible for funding this entire concert.

“Instead of asking for $50,000 for an artist and having CLSI cover the rest, this year we will have to ask for $80,000,” Poulos said.

While the BAC is well-funded and cooperative with student groups, many CAB leaders are still worried about the reaction they will receive when asking for $80,000 to fund SPW.

“It’s a lot of pressure. We do the SPW music concert, so it’s all up to us,” Poulos said.

“I would say that the lack of event planning and training will definitely affect SPW unless we canrejuvenatea CAB committee that is willing to put in the time and effort into making sure the campus has as successful a SPW as last year,” CAB leader senior Sam Levine said.

Moreover, SPW is not the only major event affected by CAB’s budget cut. This year, the Class of 2013 did not have a ‘Welcome Back Week’ during Orientation. In previous years, CAB sponsored this week-long event, which consisted of nighttime activities, concerts, carnivals, speakers, barbecues and free T-shirts to welcome first-years into the Colgate community. In addition to noting all of these successful and well-attended events, Levine pointed out the importance of the week as a whole.

“CAB’s role in ‘Welcome Back Week’ was to spread the word about what’s going on around campus,” Levine said. “While many student groups are hosting fantastic activities during these first few weeks to kick-off the school year, our campus is clearly lacking the organized and cohesive, week-long celebration that ‘Welcome Back Week’ once was.”

“I remember meeting so many other first-years during those events. It’s sad that the Class of 2013 missed out on it,” junior Molly Novatt said.

Additionally, Colgate’s annual celebration of snowy weather, Winterfest, is no longer taking place.

Junior Elisabeth Murphy reminisced about her participation in last year’s Winterfest event.

“I’m really upset that it’s cancelled this year. It was a really great way to bring the whole Colgate campus together,” Murphy said.

“I think it [CAB’s budget cut] is a perfect example of how current economic conditions have a direct effect on students,” junior Justin Etinger said.

“It was either cut CAB funding or fire someone in CLSI,” Poulos said, when asked why these changes were taking place.

However, leaders like Levine wonder why the $100,000 budget couldn’t have been reduced, thus allowing CAB to still function as a group. Without their own budget to support them, CAB leaders are left to decide how to handle the situation, or even if such a group will survive.

“If the other CAB leaders decided that they didn’t have time to run the group, then it would disappear and there’d be no SPW concert,” Poulos said.

But CAB leaders aren’t willing to let that happen. At a meeting on Tuesday, CAB leaders decided to create a petition to get back their budget. The group is also going to meet with SGA President and Vice President, seniors Mike Schneider and Matt Muskin, respectively, to find a better solution to the funding problem.