Response to Steve Sheridan

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As the Student Government Association’s Liaison to Student Groups, I would like to respond to Mr. Sheridan’s “SGA Should Unclog Budget” commentary published last week and use it to clear up some misconceptions about the financial structure of SGA-Recognized Organizations at Colgate.

In Mr. Sheridan’s many musings, he mentions slush funds and how they may inhibit the Budget Allocation Committee’s (BAC) ability to foster programming on campus. In fact, slush fund allocations only comprise 3.1% of the BAC’s semesterly budgets. In addition, slush funds have significant worth to student groups allowing them to make small purchases that have a large impact upon their success and growth.

Fortunately, not everyone on Colgate’s campus dismisses creativity and initiative with the ease shown by Mr. Sheridan in his article. The Poker Club and Cloggers Club both offered excellently written and presented proposals, neither of which Mr. Sheridan has seen or requested the Legislative Affairs Committee and the Student Senate have deemed to be a meaningful part of the spectrum of opportunities afforded to Colgate students under the SGA umbrella.

Were Mr. Sheridan to address an important issue relevant to the finance of organizations on campus, overspending by organizations and lack of accountability to the BAC would have been his stated qualms. In an era where many organizations, such as the Maroon-News, have consistently significantly overspent their allocations, a move toward greater accountability of the leaders of these organizations is needed. Currently, the SGA Treasurer, Chris Woodyard, and the Student Senate’s Constitutional Revision Committee are working to institute reforms along these lines. The reforms include mandatory post-allocation reports by organization leaders and a potential change to the way that BAC membership is chosen.

As the Student Government Association’s Liaison to Student Groups, I am proud to work closely with both new and old organizations to create high quality and well-funded programming on campus for all students and interests. The creativity and vision shown by the student leaders that I work with is a tremendous asset to every student on our campus and I believe it should be protected, treasured, and supported.

Robert B. SobelmanLiaison to Student GroupsStudent Government Association