With the rich diversity of interests on campus, it is no surprise that there is no shortage of events that happen across campus in any given week. From academic lectures in Usdan, dance showcases in the CFA, or keynote speeches in the Memorial Chapel, the WSA strives to ensure that students are able to put on events across campus as easy as possible. This is why it has mandated the Student Budget Committee (SBC) to set aside money in the beginning of every academic year specifically for the use of spaces and services on campus for whenever students or student groups want to put on events. For example, when a student group wants to use the Memorial Chapel to put on an event, the request goes through the Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) Office where either Elisa Cardona or Bulaong Ramiz help with the planning of the event. Once the event is finalized, they determine how much it will cost and they charge all expenses related to the use of the space and related services like IMS and Physical Plant to the fund that the SBC has set aside for such purposes. In this way, the student group does not have to pay anything to cover these expenses and can rest easy knowing they have one less thing to worry about when planning this event.
This system has been operating in this way for a while now and has worked well with little oversight from the SBC and the WSA. This year, though, it has come to the WSA’s attention that some groups have been abusing the system and have taken disproportionate amounts from this fund that are not justified by the scale of the events they are being used for. Given that these funds are accessible for anyone or any group putting on an event for the whole of campus, we need to ensure that this fund is not depleted too quickly or is being given away to only a few big groups on campus. This fund should be able to promote students and student groups to come up with unique and fun events that characterize and interest the Wesleyan community, and this cannot be done effectively if the fund that is supposed to be used to put on these events is only going to a limited number of groups.
That being said, I am proposing to put a $500 cap on the cost students and student groups can charge for the use of spaces and services per event they put on. Anything above $500 will need the approval of the WSA’s Vice-President, SBC Chair, and Communications Coordinator. This is to prevent the superfluous spending of this fund to ensure all students and student groups are able to access it when needed throughout the academic year. On top of this, the average cost of space and services to put on a big event at Wesleyan has been less than $500, so this cap should be more than enough to cover the costs of an average event at Wes. Of course, this does not mean that we are not open to exceptions. If the student or student group is able to justify why they should need more than $500 for space and services, the cap can be exceeded on a case-by-case basis. Hopefully, through this measure, there can be a greater number and diversity of events on campus hosted by students and student groups.
By Martin Malabanan '16
Discussion on this resolution will happen in the WSA Senate Meeting on Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 6:00PM in 41 Wyllys, Room 114. We invite all community members to come and voice their opinions on this matter.