If money is power, then the Student Association has a lot of power at its disposal this year.
Because of an increased student fee and leftover allocation money, the Student Association has more than $1.1 million to dole out this year for University-wide events and student organizations. This money gives the SA more power than ever, but it should remember to give more to smaller student organizations.
All students can and should benefit from this money, but the SA needs to ensure that the largest student orgs don’t automatically see more funding. If this money is to benefit the most students, then the SA Finance Committee should allocate more money to smaller orgs that have received fewer funds in the past.
There are many small, well-managed organizations that host important events or outreach, but they don’t receive enough funds from the SA allocations process. These orgs could use the SA’s patronage to grow and expand their popularity on campus.
This does not mean every organization should receive the exact funding it requests, but with almost $300,000 more to allocate, clubs that are contributing to GW should see more funds. If anything, set aside that $300,000 and give it solely to organizations that have received less than $250 from the SA allocations in the past.
SA President Jason Lifton spent the summer working with the Finance Committee to identify student-run activities the SA could co-sponsor. I hope by doing so, he also learned about smaller organizations that often go unnoticed on campus. Clubs like Best Buddies or Trafficking Free GW unfortunately can’t compete with the membership of the College Democrats or the publicity of the College Republicans. But they should get a fair share of love from their student government.
With such a large amount of money available, it is the SA’s responsibility to give that money back to the students, and more students will benefit if the SA does not simply give a larger amount to the larger clubs.
Year after year, the Student Association is tasked with an important job, and now it seems to be in a favorable financial situation to do that job better. But the only way members of the Financial Committee can really know that students are getting the most out of their student fee is if all student orgs get a fighting chance at more money. One million dollars will be good for student activities and event co-sponsorships. And while money can mean great power, I can’t help but think of the idea that with great power comes great responsibility.
-The writer, a junior majoring in journalism, is The Hatchet’s opinions editor.
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