Quashing of CAB Mistaken
The co-curricular implementation team of student services re-engineering has made a mistake in deciding to off-load the allocation by the provost of $40,000 to the Central Allocations Board for the funding of small groups, to the Undergraduate Association Finance Board, and the Graduate Student Council Funding Board. In doing so, the CCI team has balked on the prospect of solving systemic problems in student group funding that go beyond inefficiencies or internal problems in the current funding process.
By not attempting to form a Central Allocations Board composed of representatives from the UA, GSC, and the Association of Student Activities, the opportunity to fund student groups based solely on merit and their effect on the MIT community is being missed. Such a process could alleviate many of the disparities in funding between groups of different compositions, when whether the members of the activities are graduate students or undergraduates often has little or nothing to do with the purpose or effect of the group.
Student activity funding is different than Undergraduate Student Life or Graduate Student Life funding and should be treated as such. A single entity would not only simplify the process, but it would also allow for the solution of problems which are inherent in the current division of the system. Additionally, it could eliminate the conflict of interest that now exists in that the UA decides how much of the total student activity funding that it should consume internally and how much should be allocated to other groups.
This does not mean that the UA and the GSC should not be involved in this process through populating portions of this board with their representatives. Their representation on such a board would be appropriate and necessary to the success of such a system. But since such a change would result in the loss of direct control over student activity funding by the UA and GSC, we cannot expect the UA and GSC to agree to this voluntarily. However, the goal should not be to do what is best for the student government organizations, but to do what is best for the student activities and the students on campus. In denying the opportunity to try out such a process, the CCI team has done student activities, and student life, at MIT a great disservice.
Douglas K. Wyatt G, ASA President
and the ASA Executive Board