Guest Column: Fencing guy wants problems fixed

Guest Column: Fencing guy wants problems fixed

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Carl Knoch
Fencing Club treasurer


My name is Carl Knoch and many know me here on campus as the fencing guy. I’m a student and the current treasurer of the Titan Fencing Club. The evidence I have seen in my two years of involvement with the Council of Clubs shows a lack of transparency, a lack of student autonomy and a lack of student control of the funds that are afforded us by the student body through the Student Activity Fee.

The issues at hand are simple, and I can put them forth as facts.

The COC lacks transparency in its budget. We have asked for detailed information about our budget and where the money from our account is being spent and have yet to see that detailed information. We, as a council, have not had a budget presented to us by the ASLCC treasurer, as required by the ASLCC/COC bylaws, in the past two years.

We’ve had no adviser input on what was supposed to be paid out of our budget, how much we had in our account, and no way of getting detailed information about what our account is funding. Our adviser is very helpful in saying that we can feel free to contact her if we need additional information. We have done so and are still waiting for that information.

The council does not maintain its own finances. This is a fact, but has some nuance as Barb Delansky was correct to say — there is an interesting balance to supporting student autonomy. As students we can’t access or even see the college finance system, so we can’t fully maintain our own finances. The only way for us to see the account information in detail is to request the information from our advisers, which we have done. We are waiting on that information still.

Without that information it will be hard for us to make any decisions or to see what the money in our account was actually spent on and who approved that spending. We need to be more informed and need answers to our questions.

I could easily go on here giving my opinion about the lack of advising, transparency, autonomy and a true lack of information that we’ve been asking for since the Fall term of this year. That will not get us to where we need to be. If the students who make up the council want autonomy, it’s up to us to do our part in the process.

We have not been well enough informed, but we haven’t protested loudly enough to be well informed. Complaining about something that you’re passionate about, which is broken, is valid. This we have done. Now I feel we’ve come to the place where we have to say we have a problem, and we will help to fix it. If not us, who? If not now, when?

I believe it’s time for the council to start being the autonomous organization that we claim we want to be. The only way forward is to continue to ask the advisers hard questions about what’s happened in the past and ask ourselves hard questions about what we are willing to do for our future. The advisers will be an integral part of any success we have in this endeavor, but until we begin moving forward none of us will get anywhere.

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