Fencing Club treasurer Carl Knoch expressed his concern to the ASLCC senate at their March 18 meeting regarding Council of Clubs funds appropriations and expenditures.
The COC is supposed to receive $1 per student from the activity fee each term. However, only 12 cents out of each COC allocated dollar goes to the council Knoch said. The other 88 cents, he claimed, goes toward paying administrative personnel.
COC by-laws, said Knoch, state fees shall be controlled and maintained by the council. “The Council of Clubs has never, since I’ve been at this college, controlled or maintained its own funds,” he said. “The funds have been maintained and controlled by our advisers. We have no idea where the money goes and where the money doesn’t go.”
Knoch told the senators that he voted for them and brought this matter to their attention because he had faith that they would confront the issue. “I need you to look into this and ask the hard questions,” he said.
A COC expense totaling $2,738.16 for office supplies was another matter Knoch brought to the attention of senators. He commented that he couldn’t imagine what office supplies the COC might need that would cost that much. The expenditure was not voted on by club members, he said, nor was a break-down given describing what exactly was purchased.
Knoch called for transparency and adherence to the by-laws. He criticized a recent suggestion he said was made by ASLCC Adviser Barbara Delansky, that student activity fees be raised. “This is a terrible idea,” Knoch said. “We need to be good stewards first.”
Soon after his complaint, Knoch responded to a round of questions by senators and gallery members regarding a Fencing Club funds request for $1,895.
“I have been part of several clubs and unions on campus and none of them have had to buy things for their events out of their own pocket,” said Student Resource Center Director Brittany Healy. “They are paying tuition here. That fee comes out of their tuition, so they are already paying to be part of that club.”
Senators had discussed this funds request before. The original amount, requested in February, was for $3,790. It was later split into two equal amounts of $1,895. COC approved the first and ASLCC approved the second by a unanimous vote, but not before clarifying the propriety of approving two amounts.
“Because the Council of Clubs is part of ASLCC and they (the Fencing Club) have already received funds for this request, although not the entire request, from Council of Clubs, does receiving funds from ASLCC create a situation of double dipping and if so is that a problem?” asked senator Scott Compton.
It was clarified by Christina Walsh, ASLCC student life and leadership development director, who said that the two requests were separate line items from two separate budgets and, therefore, not a problem.
Earlier in the meeting, Lane Peace Center chair Stan Taylor requested $2,000 for the upcoming Peace Symposium being held on Thursday, April 30. He said that he will be requesting a total of $3,000 from the ASLCC and COC combined. Taylor said that he will be making the remainder of the request separately to the COC.
Split funding requests between COC and ASLCC dominated the meeting and now appear to be resolved. The issue of transparency, however, remains unresolved.