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Activity Funding Unaffected By Finboard Resignations

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Associate Night Editor

Despite the sudden resignation of three Undergraduate Association Finance Board officers last week, the funding allocation process for student accounts remains largely unaffected, according to the UA president and treasurer.

However, the longer term repercussions of the recent conflict between the UA executive officers and the Finboard leaders are still largely unknown.

Former Finboard Chair David J. Kessler '94, Vice Chair Per E. Juvkam-Wold '94, and Secretary James L. Kirtley G resigned last week, following a UA council executive committee meeting that raised and then tabled a motion to suspend Kessler for disclosing information about the UA president's discretionary control over the Vannevar Bush '16 Fund.

According to UA Treasurer Raajnish A. Chitaley '95, the resignations left an "administrative gap" in Finboard.

Hans C. Godfrey '93, UA president, said that "while it was unfortunate that they chose such a time to resign [just before the spring term budget compilation meetings]," the effect on the accounts and funding of student groups for the spring term would be negligible. Godfrey continued, saying, "I want to reassure student groups that you will not experience that much inconvenience between before the resignations and after."

Allocation process continues

At the budget compilation meetings, the Finance Board prepares a budget for the allocation of money from the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs to various student groups. The budget is then submitted to the UA Council for modification and approval.

This term's budget compilation meeting was originally scheduled for last Saturday and Sunday, although last Thursday, Godfrey said that he expected the meeting to be delayed at least a week to allow time for reorganization.

The meeting, however, was postponed only one day, and occurred entirely on Sunday, though without a quorum. Several members, including the former officers, were absent from the meeting.

Chitaley said that the recommendations from the unofficial meeting will either be passed directly on to the UA Council, or made into formal recommendations by an official meeting of Finboard.

The nominations committee is currently working on filling the vacant positions, according to Chitaley.

Future relations uncertain

It remains unclear, however, if the problems have been adequately resolved or if the UA and Finboard will continue to come into conflict. Kirtley said that much of the conflict between the two organizations was the result of "personal problems or differences between Dave Kessler and various members of the UA executive committee."

Kessler said that it is possible for the UA officers and Finboard to peacefully coexist, but when dealing with funding for student groups, personal and political concerns sometimes get in the way.

Chitaley agreed that relations need to be improved between the two groups. Over Independent Activities Period, he will chair a review committee that will examine Finboard and suggest improvements on its administration. He cited a similar process two years ago that focused on Finboard policy.

Arthur C. Smith, dean for undergraduate education and student affairs, said "I have a good deal of confidence that people who share common goals can find a way to work together and communicate. I also have a good deal of confidence in the intelligence and common sense of MIT students."