How to spend $278,928: Senate weighs options for contingency fund

By Robert Creenan
Griffin Reporter

Last semester, there was a noticeable uproar in the student body concerning the funding and installation of a new Griffin statue. Most of the uproar was not on the statue itself, but from the funding aspect.

The contingency fund itself exists to keep the leftover senate funds together from semester to semester. The senate does not want the remaining funds to be too high, lest people think that they do not care enough about this school. Last year, the senate thought that they had an acceptable amount, but they somehow found they had a surplus of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As of now, there are $278,928 remaining in the account, so there are plenty of ideas going around senate on how they should be spending that. President Rich Kubiak is currently pushing for a student run business, which goes in hand with student’s need for more on campus work opportunities, not to mention that this was one of his campaign promises last year. The current idea is a coffee shop in Palisano, which would be “a good opportunity for experiential learning” for students, explained Kubiak.

The Student President went on to explain that “It would start with senate funding, but eventually become self-sustaining. It would offer work-study type jobs on campus and the costs of it would be lower than campus competitors because we aren’t trying to make a huge profit.”

Another working idea is a new scholarship based on student leadership for current and incoming students. Vice President of Business and Finance Jessica Dieter said, “Say if we put $100,000 in an endowment for this scholarship, it would earn around 7% interest per year, or $7,000 in this scenario. Those funds would go to a student who’s a student leader either in high school or on the Canisius campus. This would help for new student recruitment or current student retention.”

Other ideas floating around from other senators include lockers in the library for student who spend most of their free and studying time there, and a new sports field on Lyons lawn for non-student athletes to relax and play sports. Kubiak said these ideas are still in the conceptual phase at the moment and there is not any set date on when these proposals have to be approved and implemented, though the student-run business would be the most urgent at the moment as Kubiak wants the current senior class to experience it.

If all the remaining money is not spent by the end of this semester, then it will just carry over into next semester’s fund. The administration has been pressuring the senate to spend as much of the money as possible, “They said, ‘You have all this extra money, you better take advantage of it,’” Kubiak said. “What we think of for this is, ‘What can we do to better this campus?’”

Some funds will also go towards improvements in the KAC on top of the $100,000 allocated last April. The renovations are taking longer to work out than expected. As Kubiak puts it, “It takes a lot more time to work on something you don’t own.”

Kubiak hopes that after the controversy and confusion about the Griffin statue last year, the student body does have a better grasp of what the contingency fund is. “Now when we present something to the student body, nobody can say that they don’t know what it is as an excuse,” Kubiak said. “That’s just arguing for the sake of arguing.”

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