Staff Editorial: Where does all the money go?

Allocations season has arrived.

The divvying up of the Student Association’s student fee money marks one of the most important times of the year for student organizations at GW, as it determines how much money they receive and thus the extent of their programming for the year. Over half a million dollars of student money is on the table, significantly more than last year, thanks to the student fee increase.

Students should be able to track every dollar of that student fee money, from the allocations process all the way through how each student organization spends it.

Sen. Logan Dobson (CCAS-U) proposed a bill to open the SA financial system so that students can do just that. The bill, which is co-sponsored by SA President Vishal Aswani and the executive branch, would allow students to see exactly how each student organization spends its allocated money. Currently, students can see how much money each organization received, but they cannot view how that money was spent.

The SA should pass this bill. More transparency in the process will lead to more accountability.

By paying the increased student fee, students become stakeholders in the allocations process and should be able to see how their investment is used. This will keep student organizations honest in their expenses and will also provide more oversight to keep the process as fair as possible.

For instance, organizations that spend carelessly in an effort to keep their allocations high for the next year would no longer be able to do so. Instead, careless spending would be made public, and outcry could lead to a decrease in that organization’s allocation. Organizations that spend responsibly but are short of funds for programming ideas could point to abuses by other groups in an effort to receive more money.

The information is already compiled in the office of the vice president of financial affairs, so why not allow students to see it? It would be a small step toward de-mystifying the allocations process and moving closer to the ideal of student organizations receiving what they deserve.

Read and respond: What do you want to see from the SA this semester?

Related: Staff Editorial: Top 5 things the SA should do this semester.

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