Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

Rob Sobelman

Why is it that we feel so proud explaining Spring Party Weekend to our high school friends?

Just as CAB Music will unleash the The Roots to grab Hamilton by the funk and give it a lesson in rhythm, the talented and passionate students of Colgate have created a multitude of opportunities on campus. Behind this dedication is the Student Government Association’s Budget Allocations Committee; a group of six students and the SGA Treasurer, currently Ian Maron-Kolitch.

The BAC is in place to sponsor student groups who have a vision and a plan to host an event on our campus. This year, the BAC has managed to spend its scarce funds wisely and evenly, giving great deliberation to the proposals given to them while making decisions in a timely manner.

Student group leaders should be limited by their imaginations and creativity, not the increasingly tight BAC budget. In response to this issue, the Administration will look to raise the Student Activities Fee and enlarge the pool that the BAC has to allocate each semester while increasing the cost of attending Colgate. With very few off-campus options for entertainment and activity, it is crucial that we have sufficient funds for student groups and a long-term innovative solution to raise BAC funds without raising the Student Activities Fee.

Through my experience serving on the BAC, I have found that we need to look in a new direction to supplement our revenue. I propose that the SGA and Colgate Administration work together to give more responsibility to the students to govern their actions and have a significant role in on-campus spending. After researching models at other universities and colleges, I believe the best model is at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. At Carleton, the student government has the lead role in soliciting and negotiating all contracts related to food/drink vending machines and laundry machines. They are able to choose their contractors to ensure the highest quality. In exchange for this increased responsibility, they are able to keep all profits made from these contracts. Right now the profits from our vending and laundry machines go into Colgate’s general treasury even though it is purely student spending. I understand why Colgate should be able to cover their costs, but why should they be making a profit on your soda or load of laundry?

I call for a new approach to SGA and a new relationship between the students and the Administration. After speaking with Carleton College’s student government president, I am confident that with hard work and solid leadership we can reshape the way that Colgate’s students govern themselves and raise sustainable funds for our campus activities.

With the right ideas, experience and leadership, it is possible to make changes at Colgate for the benefit of all students. For more on this proposal and how it would work visit www.RobandJennyforColgate.com