DormCon budget causes grumbling
This past Thursday, MIT’s Dormitory Council approved a $23,000 budget that included about $15,000 for CPW, consisting of about $5,000 from Admissions, $5,000 from Housing, and $5,000 of its own money. The budget also included $4,000 for a 30-person DormCon retreat at Endicott House — an overnight retreat that includes chef-made meals. The space is popular with student groups and dorm governments for retreats. The retreat would be attended by the 12 executive members, 11 dorm presidents, and “plus ones” of any attendee, according to DormCon president Edward A. Mugica ’13.
This budget sparked an initial email outcry from Tea Dorminy ’13, who emailed many dormitory mailing lists saying that the retreat would cost 20 percent of DormCon’s budget, that each dorm could get $400 more for CPW if they “didn’t go to an expensive retreat,” and urging students to tell their presidents to “spend money on CPW, not retreat.”
Random Hall President Jacobi L. Vaughn ’15 also weighed in over emails to dorms and dorm presidents with a “dissenting opinion.” Vaughn said that what bothers him most is that the money comes from housing taxes “which [residents] had no choice to spend,” and that DormCon should “exist to serve the dorms, not to consume their resources.”
Mugica, who plans on the retreat becoming an annual occurrence, said that the event is essential to bringing DormCon members together, and that a similar retreat was done last year. The retreat is important, said Mugica, because dorm presidents can learn how other dorms work, know where other people stand on issues, and develop a “personal rapport” with the other presidents.
Some students have suggested going on a less expensive retreat. “That may be something to look to in the future,” said Mugica, but he emphasized that the value in this retreat is that food is taken care of, and “from the first time we get there we’re doing things, … discussing important issues.”
Dorminy said that the issue has since been resolved, and Vaughn declined to further comment on the issue.
—Bruno B. F. Faviero