The ongoing search for budget savings and Ryan Kellett’s excellent post on MiddBlog prompt a question: at what point will student leaders consider tapping the funds that flow into SGA Finance coffers through the Student Activities Fee ($380 per student in 2008-2009) to help pay for programs that may be redlined out of the College’s operational budget? I don’t have a particular suggestion in mind, but I do think that the fiscal crisis and the transition now taking place in SGA represent a good opportunity to discuss how student money gets allocated across campus. Current governance structures make it difficult for student representatives to shape funding decisions since, as Ryan suggests, those decisions are not made by SGA, but by the SGA Finance Committee. Given the economic situation, is now the time to create a merged organization that is better able to respond to the needs of the moment and give elected representatives more authority?
The other question lurking in Ryan’s post has to do with the role that students play in the budget-cutting process now taking place through the Budget Oversight Committee. I will take up this issue in a subsequent post.
Oh, and by the way, the Association of Amherst Students is considering making a $100K contribution to Amherst to cover the cost of financial aid and student programming. Should Middlebury students follow suit?