EDITORIAL: Financial independence of student clubs jeopardized
It is unfortunate that the funding for the Union accountant Loretta Shagoury was mistakenly not added to tuition by the Administration. However, it should not be the duty of student organizations to shoulder the $40,000 burden this has created. Originally, each student was supposed to be assessed an additional $12 per year to their tuition bill to pay for her invaluable service of overseeing student finances. By taking away $40,000, the Administration is not only dealing a blow to student autonomy, but also disregarding an agreement between the students, the Board of Trustees and the Administration which guarantees students one percent of tuition toward clubs and activities. As it stands, by taking away the $40,000 the Administration has violated this agreement.
Student clubs and organizations are the ones affected most. Union Government lost about $4,000, media organizations lost $10,000, the Finance Board lost about $16,000 and Student Events lost about $8,000. To BEMCo, $1,000 enables medical coverage at student-sponsored events. The Justice has lost $2,500, which is roughly the cost of printing an entire issue.
It is ironic that the Administration hired Shagoury under the pretext that she would oversee student finances and still preserve student autonomy. Their current actions shed serious doubts about the sincerity of such claims. That the Administration has paid for Shagoury's services with money not allotted for it, misappropriating funds for student use in the process, is evidence enough.
We strongly urge the Administration to give students their proper due and return the $40,000 that they wrongfully took. This is necessary, not only because the $40,000 is not the Administration's money to spend, but to demonstrate the good faith in student fiduciary control it claims to have.