Getting to the CoR of the issue

By Brandon Seltenrich

Griffin Reporter

The Griffin wrote last week briefly covering a few concerns brought forward by a few select club leaders, mostly concerning Council of Representatives (CoR) meetings and the newly implemented budget system, which decided how much money is allocated to each club for the year. The Senate and the Council of Representatives work together to try and serve the interests of clubs; e-board members from the clubs are supposed to attend monthly meetings reviewing any concerns anyone has. However, in conversation with club leaders Nick Foraker, ‘18, and Conor Toomb, ‘17, The Griffin learned about some discontent between the Senate and clubs, mainly concerning budget.

When asked about the budget system, Foraker said that he, among other leaders, felt that “the budget system was very flawed.” Foraker went on to explain that there was a new budget system introduced this year in which there are different club “tiers”. A tier one club, such as his own Fusion Gaming, means that their minimum budget is set at $10,000. The clubs stuck in the lowest tiers are left with very little money; for example, the Anime Club is left with less than $1,000. Naturally, there is an appeals process regarding each club’s budget if they wish to ask for more funds, however Nick describes there as being “no balance of power [in appealing] . . . Senate said, ‘There’s one voting body, we’re the voting body.’” This raises another concern brought forth to the Senate: many club leaders feel like their voices are not being heard, much of that discontent stemming from what they understand to be a cancellation of CoR meetings.

Undergraduate Student Association President Elias Ayoub also spoke on the ongoing matter discussed in last week’s meeting. In an attempt to defend the inconsistency of CoR meetings, Ayoub explains that CoR has been switched from a monthly basis to an ad hoc basis, meaning that CoR meetings are only held when there’s a reason to do so. He also added onto this by saying that there was, in fact, a meeting this week.

More importantly, Ayoub had much to speak on regarding the new budget system, and he wants to work with club leaders if they are willing to do so. However, there were a few things that he felt aren’t understood by many of the vocal club leaders. Ayoub said that “the intention of CoR was never to create a bicameral body. CoR doesn’t have and never had any binding voting ability.” Although he noted that there had been votes in the past for club leaders to have a say in school matters, he dismisses the idea of the same happening now. He says that, “They wanted to make CoR into a student government that balances it out. . . Personally, I think that’s an incredible minority view in the Council of Representatives.” Ayoub goes on to say that “[club leaders] wanna run their clubs. They don’t wanna be in student government. If they wanted to be in student government, they would have ran for student government.” Also, about the stagnancy of Senate and the “intimidation” that club leaders perceive which discourages them from appealing and proposing new ideas, he says that much is because “there’s already so many checks for us to do anything in Senate.”

Conor Toomb and Nick Foraker followed up with Vice President Jeff Spencer this week to discuss some of their concerns, and they both feel that a future reconstruction, or at least “revamping,” of CoR may be in the works. Spencer explained that next semester, the budget will be explained more clearly, and according to Toomb, “We got the answers we’re looking for.” Club leaders and Senate members alike can hope that this makes for clearer understanding and better relations between the two entities, and hopefully a stronger voice for all.

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