In an example of poor decision-making, Student Association Executive Vice President Morgan Corr unilaterally transferred $2,000 last month to three student groups. Not only are his political opponents characterizing the transfers as electioneering, but the unilateral transfer also continues and justifies perceptions of how egregiously the SA mismanages student funds.
The electioneering charges, mostly coming from other members of the SA as deeply entrenched in the organization as Corr, stem from a $1,000 transfer to the International Affairs Society on Feb. 8. Three weeks later, the organization endorsed Corr’s SA presidential campaign. Allegations of collusion between Corr and IAS for a payoff, at this point, are unproven and highly speculative. Still, a long-time SA insider and presidential hopeful such as Corr should know that perception often carries more weight than reality in defining public opinion; and for Corr, none of this looks good.
Ostensibly, the funds did come from Corr’s own budget – meant to fund the operation of the legislative branch – and were his to distribute. The availability of $2,000 for distribution, however, draws into scrutiny the size of Corr’s original budget. The extra money left in Corr’s budget should have gone back into the general SA fund for all student groups instead of remaining at his discretion.
Students in the SA are perennially embroiled in financial scandal because there isn’t clear accountability except internally. With IAS, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association receiving unilateral allocations from Corr, other groups with inadequate budgets are left to wonder why they are ineligible to receive special monies. Students are also left without recourse to protest and reverse questionable SA spending.
If Corr did transfer the funds because, as he claims, he was rectifying inadequate funding of these groups by the SA Senate Finance Committee, then there is clearly a problem with a funding system that allows a single student to decide which groups can receive preferential financial treatment.