March 10, 2010

Letter to the Editor: SAFC appeals process overly political

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To the Editor:

Re: “Students Elect Andrews ’11 President of S.A,” News, March 5

Last Thursday, a heated exchange broke out between the Chairs of the Student Assembly Finance Commission (SAFC) and members of the Student Assembly regarding SAFC appeals.

The trouble with appeals lies not in the process itself, but rather in the rulings made by Assembly members. In past semesters, organizations that persevered, refused to take no for an answer and appeared before the S.A. were often rewarded despite clearly violating SAFC policy. And to be blunt, it is simply in the political interests of Assembly members to vote in such a fashion; After all, no one wants to be accountable for derailing a potentially impactful and worthy cause.

It is not the SAFC’s intent to deny the Assembly the ability to challenge its decisions. In fact, it is of our opinion that there are indeed gray areas that are not covered under the commission’s umbrella. However, granting funding to groups who failed to comply with the rules (the very rules approved by the Student Assembly) not only upends the system and discounts the work of SAFC commissioners, but implicitly undermines all the organizations that completed budgets properly.

It is our hope that the Student Assembly be cognizant of these concerns and understands the full implications of its actions.

Charlie Feng ’11 and Dan Gusz ’11, SAFC co-chairs