EDITORIAL: Student money belongs to students, not Administration
Last year, $122,000 of unaccounted-for money was discovered in a student activities fee rollover account by the Student Union and the Office of Student Life. Because it was nonprofit money, it was determined that it must be spent - the question was how and by whom. It was quickly decided, thereafter, that it was the students' place to allocate how the money should be spent, considering it was originally designated for student activities. Students were encouraged to submit proposals, which would then be approved by the Brandeis Administration. The Administration, however, has recently trampled upon and overstepped the bounds of this original decision by accepting only two proposals out of the eight submitted.
It is important to remember that this money belongs solely to the students of this university. Therefore, it is not only frustrating, but completely illegitimate that the Administration should have any say in how we wish to spend that which is ours. We do not have oversight of the Administration's money; they should not have this power over ours.
It is not as if the six rejected proposals were without merit; they included requests such as an ambulance for BEMCo, more money for the Brandeis Freedom Trail, a monument to Ford Hall and a van available for clubs to use. But the Administration discarded these ideas.
Rather, students will vote whether they want the money to go to a climbing wall or a game room - projects that are in progress regardless of the allocation of this money. Thus, it seems as if the Administration is attempting to obtain this money to defray inevitable costs, which have already been offset by donations. These costs are already designated as being funded by the Administration and, therefore, should not be shouldered by the students .
Allowing students to vote on two of the proposals - while ignoring the other six submitted - shows a blatant disregard for the student voice on campus. Giving students a facade of democracy is just not acceptable. We unequivocally believe that the University should reclaim money previously allocated for students and not use it for projects for which funding should be provided by other sources.