UA/Finboard Members Submit ResignationThe Tech received a copy of this letter addressed to the Undergraduate Association Floor Leader and Council Members.
This letter is to formally notify you that we, the three principle officers of the Undergraduate Association Finance Board, do hereby resign, effective immediately. While there are many reasons for these resignations, we will explain only the most important below.
The principle reason for our resignation is that we are apologetic for giving the Vannevar Bush '16 Fund transaction reports to the MIT campus newspapers: The Tech, The Thistle and Counterpoint. Though it is debatable whether or not this action was wrong or illegal, we feel in hindsight that there may have been more appropriate ways of dealing with our concerns.
We deeply regret any harm or anxiety which this has caused student groups; this was completely unintentional. We believe the Bush Fund to be very different than all of the other student accounts, which are private. This question is not debatable, and we are very sorry for any agitation the publishing of the Bush Fund caused. Neither side of this debate about the privacy of the Bush Fund believes the student activity accounts to be public. We have spent many hours working to help fund student groups, and we would never intend to cause any harm to student groups.
We honestly believe that what we did was not morally wrong, but it is questionable if it was very wise or appropriately implemented. Our motivations behind releasing the Bush Fund transactions were to open debate on what students, the constituents of the UA, think the money should be spent on. What the Bush Fund was spent on is in no way illegal or illegitimate. There are extremely good arguments for spending this fund on personal expenses as compensation for the amount of work done by the UA president. On the other hand, there are arguments against spending the money in that fashion. Because there are two sides to this complicated coin, we hoped that public debate would settle the issue. We are very pleased that people have written their opinions about the discretionary fund to The Tech. This is exactly what we hoped would happen. Our expectation, when we released this information, was to have it become an election issue for this spring. We gave out the information now so students could have time to think about the issue and debate it. It is our hope that someone will ask of each candidate this question: "How are you planning to spend the Bush Fund?"
The other major reason for our resignation is that we believe that our presence on the Finance Board makes it very difficult to have a constructive relationship with the UA executive officers. These problems have existed for the duration of our tenure and have put us in a very defensive position. It is our belief that their coordinated attempt to undermine the effectiveness of the Finance Board has jeopardized the efficient allocation of money to student activities. This is partly because of a serious break-down in communication between the UA Executive Committee and the UA Finance Board. Some of this break-down is obviously our fault. Rather than seeing the Finance Board atrophy, we are giving up our positions. It is our belief that the Finance Board, during our collective years on it, has done a great deal of work for student activities. The UA, in our belief, is only hurting itself by crippling such a productive part of student government.
We are extremely sorry for hurting the UA government; that was not the motivation behind our actions. It was not our purpose to malign Hans C. Godfrey '93 nor any other person. We realize our actions had these side effects, and we are honestly sorry for them.
David J. Kessler '94
Finance Board Chair
Per E. Juvkam-Wold '94
James T. Kirtley Jr. G