SGA Should Unclog Budget

Generally speaking, I don’t have too many problems with Colgate. The food isn’t terrible, the residences not at 92 Broad Street that I have seen or lived in are relatively clean and comfortable, and there are plenty of things to do on campus.

That last note, however, may be where one of Colgate’s problems lies. On this campus, students have the ability to do whatever they want when it comes to extracurricular activities – whether they want to create a new club or reinstitute a dormant one, it matters not. I have no problem with students who want to create new clubs or activities on campus; on the contrary, I completely support their right to have the initiative to do so. For me, the problem lies in when all of these clubs seek – and most always obtain – SGA recognition.

According to the list of BAC expenditures for 2005-2006 that was distributed to all students at the beginning of this school year, there were approximately 130 student groups on campus that have received SGA recognition.

From my understanding of the process, all groups recognized by the SGA receive $100 to be put towards their club, excepting clubs and organizations (such as The Maroon-News) that receive percentage allocations at the beginning of each semester. Of those 130 groups, 96 student groups were listed as receiving that $100 chunk of change at the beginning of this semester. That’s $9,600, for all you non-math majors out there.

Although it pales in comparison to the total budget of the BAC, which reaches somewhere around $300,000, $9,600 is still a decent amount of money. However, as I have read in my weekly Senate minutes (that all students should read, by the way), it seems as if more and more new clubs are approved by the SGA with absolutely no regard to the implications this has on the budget.

Last week, I was mildly annoyed that the Poker Club was approved (Giving money to students who meet specifically to gamble? That’s a great message to send.), but after reading the report of last week’s Senate minutes, I finally felt compelled to say something. The Clogging Club is now a recognized SGA club.

Now, I have absolutely nothing against students who like to clog either in public or in the privacy of their own dorms or apartments. The fact remains, however, that this is just one of many clubs on campus that should not be receiving $100 just because enough senators had the lack of foresight or fiscal responsibility to reject it.

I know Colgate has a long-standing tradition of individualism and entrepreneurialism, and that spirit shouldn’t be suppressed; but it also doesn’t mean that Colgate should monetarily reward each and every group. Just because you have an idea, it doesn’t mean that the idea is either good or beneficial to the Colgate community. As evidenced over the last few years, more and more of these groups have meant less and less money to go around.

Lately, there has been talk of possibly raising the school’s Student Activities Fee. That is a step in the right direction. Depending on the extent of the raise, however, the number of new clubs approved seemingly every week will soon outpace that increase as well. It may be difficult to reject the ideas of some of your peers who are trying to get another new and wonderful club recognized, but it is something that needs to be done – for the sake of the other 100 clubs already in place. The imagination of Colgate students might not run out, but money unfortunately does.

Colgate is a school full of activity, but let’s not overdo it. Because soon enough, many of your favorite clubs currently on campus won’t have the money to do anything.