Letter to the Editor: Dec. 8, 2016

The Updated Funding & Allocations Bill, which we wrote, was brought to the Senate four meetings ago and was passed this week. This bill is multifaceted and aims to encourage transparency in regards to the way student body fees are allocated. It changes the percentages allocated into four of the accounts under the ASWC as well as mandates the Media Council to create a funding code and an inventory list.  

Before this bill came to the Senate table officially, it was brought to the Media Council. During this meeting, they voiced various concerns. Using the feedback from this meeting as well as feedback from a meeting with Media Council’s Senate Representative Leah Boynton and QC Editor-In-Chief Nathan Acuña, a new version with a variety of edits was presented to the Senate. Throughout the course of this process, we have met with constituents, replied to countless emails, and continuously heard out the student body. The bill, which passed earlier this week, was a compromise between all parties involved. We would like to briefly explain the impact of this bill. 

One of the main purposes of this bill was to reallocate funds in recognition of the inactivity of the Acropolis, as it has not printed since 2012-2013. Acropolis was allocated an average of 43 percent of the Media Council’s allocation. 

Beginning Fall 2017, this legislation reduces the upfront allocation to Media Council to 23.5 percent of student body fees from 35 percent. The remaining 76.5 percent is broken into four accounts. 32 percent will now be allocated to Program Board, 9 percent to operational, the fixed allocation of $750 every semester to every other governing body stands as is, and the remaining is made available to the other 80 organizations on campus. To see a breakdown of how the change in percentages impacts the dollar amount and other charts, please refer to the email sent from me [Treasurer Heymans] to the student body or the News story on the ASWC OrgSync Portal. The bill mandates that this funding structure be reevaluated Spring 2018. This bill also stresses that the Media Council can come into the ASWC Senate table for additional funding, as needed. 

This bill is an attempt to ensure that student body fees are being allocated appropriately and formalize the process for allocating such funds, given that before the presentation of this bill, the Media Council did not have a funding code and gave no clear indication of their plans of creating one. We also want to ensure that the student body is aware of all of the materials in their possession. When equipment is purchased with student body fees, it belongs to the student body and not to the individual organizations or students. Given this, it is important that the student body be aware of the various equipment in the possession of Media Council organizations. 

We want to be clear in stating that this bill in no way prevents organizations from operating. We have taken into account every expense and projected cost from OrgSync and the organizations themselves to ensure that this funding reallocation does not impact operational costs. We appreciate our media organizations and want to ensure they can continue to generate content and grow, with the understanding that an organization previously allocated a significant portion of their budget has gone inactive. 

We want to thank our constituents for voicing their opinions and feedback throughout this process. We are firm believers in giving all organizations on this campus the opportunity to grow, just as Media Council has over the past years. For more information regarding the bill, we invite you to refer to the News post on the ASWC OrgSync, the email sent to the student body or by contacting either of us. 

Warm Regards, 
Vice President Sofia Dueñas (aswc_vp@poets.whittier.edu) 
Treasurer Lorena Heymans (aswc.treas@gmail.com)