Secured clubs oppose proposed constitution amendments
Clubs including WBRS, Student Events, Archon, Brandeis Television, Brandeis' men's ultimate frisbee team Tron and the Brandeis Boxing Club are opposing the Student Union Constitutional Review Task Force proposal to amend the constitution due to concerns about the language in the amendment that would institute a cap on secured club funding.
Currently, the constitution states that the Finance Board is responsible for allocating funds to secured clubs whose funding would be based loosely around certain benchmark allocations. F-Board, however, is allowed to exceed these benchmark allocations should a club require additional funding. In the proposed amendment, the benchmark funding would constitute a cap for a range of allocations that would be different for each club. Furthermore, sports clubs, whose funding has been handled separately from secured clubs, would now have a set allocation range.
In an official joint statement between the clubs that oppose the amendment, which WBRS released to the Justice, the clubs note that having such a cap would be "short-sighted in terms of incentives for clubs to better themselves." According to WBRS business manager Carl Lieberman '16, the statement is to be released to the Brandeis student body when the student vote takes place. In an interview with the Justice, Lieberman stated that the main issue with the amendment is how the changes would "undermine the nature" of the way in which secured clubs are funded.
The clubs state that the amendment would also remove any flexibility in funding. By "locking the clubs" into a set range of funding, the secured clubs will not be able to adjust to any increases in the Student Union budget as the University increases student tuition.
Lieberman also said that the range does not "reflect particular technical expenses" that clubs such as WBRS may encounter. In this past year, he said, WBRS received more funding than its usual allotment to repair the sound board, which he said was expensive but "vital" to the function of the club.
When asked whether the Constitutional Review Task Force or the Student Union consulted WBRS about the range of funding, Lieberman said that they did not.
Lieberman also noted that the range of funding seems to be based on "incomplete information." He said that the constitutional amendment dictated funding for WBRS that was comparable to this past year's allotment rather than examining club funding over the past couple of years. This year's allotment was significantly higher than usual because of the repairs, he said. "As a Brandeis student," Lieberman said, he would want each club to be funded with an "appropriate amount of money."
Members of the CRTF who proposed these amendments and allocations did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Lieberman went on to recommend that the constitution increase club feedback "between the F-Board and the secured clubs ... rather than simply capping the secured clubs."
The vote that was supposed to go to the student body on whether or not to implement these amendments yesterday has been postponed to an unannounced later date because of a "need to look at additional facets," according to an email that Student Union Secretary Sneha Walia '15 sent out to the student body on April 7.
-Marissa Ditkowsky contributed reporting