SEC determines Spring 2016 budget

Undergraduate Diversity Collective gets its first Student Activity Fee allocation

Last April the Case Western Reserve University student body voted in the Undergraduate Diversity Collaborative (UDC) as a new umbrella organization under the Student Executive Council (SEC). Next semester, it will be receiving its first financial allocation as an SEC group.

This allocation will come from the Student Activity Fee (SAF). Although much of the UDC’s allocation is coming directly from Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the organization that previously covered the 21 organizations now under the UDC, additional funds for new advocacy events sponsored by the UDC needed to be found.

The SEC is an umbrella organization representing the Class Officer Collective, Interfraternity Congress(IFC), Panhellenic Council, Residence Hall Association, University Media Board (UMB), UDC, University Program Board (UPB) and USG. Two representatives from each student organization as well as representative from off-the-top organizations Thwing Study Over, Homecoming, Springfest, and Senior Week met on Thursday, Oct. 8 to discuss the Spring 2016 SAF allocations.

The SAF is a $177 fee paid by each undergraduate on top of tuition. The SEC is responsible for allocating the total revenue from the fee, an estimated $800,000 for Spring 2016, to the member organizations.

USG President Chippy Kennedy proposed a plan to provide the additional funding needed, relying on reducing co-sponsorships and student salaries as a means to give the UDC the backing it needs.

Members of the board and students in attendance were concerned with the source of these cuts.

“My initial concern was the co-sponsorship money for specifically USG organizations and how it was going to be dispersed,” said Mitch Hopkins, a representative from a USG organization. “I thought it was going to be really harmful to a lot of student organizations on campus and I decided to speak up against it.”

Others on the board also took issue with this proposal, a main focus being on the UMB’s student salaries and the IFC’s allocations for Chapter Builder.

After extensive dialogue between board members, the SEC was able to reach an agreement as to next semester’s allocations. UDC will receive 7.07 percent of the total, about $56,000.

“I think that everyone worked together really well and was able to come to a good consensus that both supports the UDC and USG organizations,” said Hopkins once negotiations were finished.

At the meeting, the SEC also discussed progress by the SEC Task Force, a group formed to evaluate current SEC structure and potentially propose reforms. They announced a retreat later in the semester to thoroughly discuss the scope of the organization. In addition the Open Forum Planning committee announced its plans to receive student questions about the SEC in the Tinkham Veale University Center over Oct. 21-23.

A new committee was also established to research one of the SEC’s bylaws stating that the SAF cannot go towards the purchase of alcohol. In recognizing the unknown potential consequences of abolishing this bylaw, the SEC set up a committee to do further research on peer institutions to determine a correct course of action.

The committee is composed of Director for Student Activities and Leadership Colleen Barker-Williamson, UDC Vice President of Internal Affairs Precious Amoako, Director of Thwing Center Arlet Wright, UPB Director of Finance Aditi Chaudhri, USG President Chippy Kennedy, COC Vice President of Finance Dan Kim and Director of Greek Life Mark Starr, with chair IFC Vice President of Recruitment Arjun Gopinath.

SAF Allocations for Spring 2016*

UPB 26.74 percent; $213,920
USG 23.59 percent; $188,720
UMB 16.4 percent; $131,200
UDC 7.07 percent; $56,560
IFC/PHC 6.31 percent; $50,480
COC 5.42 percent; $43,360
TSO 2.09 percent; $16,720
Homecoming 0.89 percent; $7,120
Springfest 5.71 percent; $45,680
Senior Week 4.44 percent; $35,520
Ballroom/tarp 1.34 percent; $10,720

*Dollar amounts are based on an estimated budget of $800,000.