Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Staff editorial: Money talks

Once again, the College Democrats and the College Republicans are the big winners in the Student Association allocations, each receiving $9,450, the most for any single student group. This is the product of a value-void allocation system, based solely on how much money a student group received the previous year and how much of that money was spent, without regard to what groups are spending students’ money on.

The allocation system is flawed – it continuously over-funds big groups like the CDs and CRs, while failing to sufficiently fund newer groups that potentially benefit a larger percentage of the GW community.

These groups will continue to receive the largest allocations in the future if the SA sticks to its current system for distributing funds. The system is based on numbers from detailed budgets submitted by student groups applying for funds, but important statistics like how many students attended sponsored events and student appreciation are not quantified.

The SA should find a way to prioritize student groups to better spend the average student’s money. Political groups should not just get the most money because they spent the most last year. New factors must be devised and implemented by the SA when considering allocations.

Factors such as:
 What a group provides the general student body, such as performances or publications
 Non-member student attendance at group-sponsored events
 Enhancement of GW’s status by excelling in their field with national titles and press coverage
 Community service
 Size of group

In that order, groups that affect the most students would be considered the most valuable. Liquid Arts performances, such as the one in the Hippodrome last Wednesday, draw hundreds and seem to be gaining popularity on campus. Their allocation of $350 does not reflect this. The Philippine Cultural Society received $800. The Sikh Student Association, $550. Intravarsity Christian Fellowship, more than $1,000. While these groups’ actions are undoubtedly important to their members, students have not seen them provide any campus-wide performances or events with the widespread appeal of a Liquid Arts show.

This is one example. In no way is Liquid Arts more important on campus than religious or cultural groups, but their SA allocation should reflect the tastes of who is footing their bills – the average student. Students pay $1 per credit to fund these groups, a system the SA adopted last year. They should indirectly, through the SA, be able to decide how this money is spent, by attending the events they enjoy and staying home the nights of speakers and panels they could care less about.

WRGW’s budget was slashed in half this year, at a time when it may face increased federal fees to stay on the air. University radio stations are often one of the most popular student organizations at other campuses, yet WRGW is severely under-funded. It received less than $5,000.

The SA should do more research, gather data, and do what they were elected to do – make judgements. Organizations are not getting the funds they deserve because the system is blind to the campus atmosphere and adheres to a numbers-only doctrine.

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