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Fair Sponsors Find Agreement on Profit

By Frank Dabek

The battling sponsors of this year’s unified career fair have resolved a disagreement over career week and appear to be nearing a final agreement on dividing career fair profits.

The final dispute in the ongoing struggle over the career fair’s more than $200,000 in revenue came over the shared costs of career week events. The Class of 2000, Graduate Student Council, and Society of Women engineers have agreed, under a deal brokered by Katherine G. O’Dair, associate dean for student activities, to split all career week expenses and revenues equally, with the exception of a few expenses that groups will pay from their own accounts.

The agreement builds on a prior agreement in which groups first receive an amount equal to their historical take over the last few career fairs and then split any additional profits three ways. The groups may meet as early as today to finalize these historical numbers and divide the revenues.

The dispute centered around several career week events, notably the Class of 2000 Casino Night. While Class of 2000 President Hugo B. Barra said that the event was open to all students, others, such as Career Fair Treasurer Julie L. Eisenhard G claimed that no other organizations were invited and that the cost of the event should not be shared.

While the groups agreed to divide the cost of Casino Night, other events such as the SWE banquet, web development done by the Class of 2000, and a web server purchased by the GSC are among the items that individual groups will fund, according to GSC President Luis A. Ortiz.

O’Dair’s recommendation was based on the original agreement between the three groups. Although the issue of shared costs isn’t explicitly mentioned, the agreement does not distinguish career week from career fair. The agreement states that the “Class of 2000 Career Week co-sponsored by SWE and the GSC... will culminate with a two-day career fair.”

Confusion over reimbursement

In addition to disputes over shared costs, Eisenhard said she received several “suspicious reimbursement” requests. Eisenhard said that she requested to be informed of all expenditures in advance but received requests for compensation that she had not been informed of prior to receiving the requests.

Eisenhard also questioned the validity of several of the requests including a $2,000 reimbursement for photocopies made to the Class of 2000. The Class of 2000 also failed to provide detailed information for several reimbursements, she said.

Barra said that all expenses “were certainly career-fair-related” and called any allegations of improper requests “ridiculous.”

O’Dair agreed with Barra -- “I don’t thing there is any misuse of funds ... I believe it’s just miscom munication.”

Groups positive on future fairs

Despite the disputes over this year’s fair O’Dair said that the problems encountered this year are “not insurmountable in future years.”

Ortiz encouraged future organizers to deal with financial issues earlier in the planning process.