Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

ASWC Reviews $344,000 Surplus

A $344,000 budget surplus, the approval of four new clubs and the possible after hours lock-up of Café 41 in the Penrose Library headlined the first Associated Students of Whitman College Senate meeting on Sunday as recently-elected first-year senators officially convened with their upper class peers for the first time.

The meeting was also Elliot Okantey’s first as ASWC president since winning the presidential elections last spring.

“It was pretty efficiently run,” John Loranger, sophomore senator, said. “Elliot did a good job for his first meeting.”

Loranger said that he was especially impressed with the progress senior Roman Goers is making as chair of the student affairs committee. “We’re good at what we do which is giving out money and programming, but I’ve always thought that the student affairs committee has needed a lot of work,” he said. “Roman has really taken a lot of initiative this year… he’s on the right path.”

As head of the student affairs committee, Goers has begun a “comprehensive review of all ASWC’s policies” concerning student affairs, which total around 20. Goers said in the meeting that he is spending the most time on student drug, weapon, building and disability policies and a new policy concerning alumni-sponsored events.

“No policy review like this has ever been conducted,” Goers said.

Also on Goers’ agenda is to appeal the potential lock-up of Café 41 when Bon Appétit workers are not on staff, which would shut down access to live streaming of international news sources and vending machines between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Incidents of theft and vandalism have prompted the library and Bon Appétit to propose locking the café during off hours.

“I’ve talked to the library staff and they said that they are going to give students one more chance,” Goers said. “Which means it’s going to continue to remain open for now, but if there’s another incident they’re going to talk about closing it.”

Goers is also working to mediate a deal with the Financial Aid Office to enable students to receive more than the baseline 8 semesters of financial aid under special circumstances.
Concers over ASWC’s surpluss funds were also high on the agenda for the senate’s first meeting.

Over the past few years, ASWC has substantially increased its savings fund, David Changa-Moon, finance chair, said, and it has now reached over $140,000. The money accumulates when clubs do not exhaust their allocated annual amounts.

Changa-Moon wants to somehow give back to the students who provide the money through their yearly ASWC fee.

The money “can be used for any range of student development,” Changa-Moon said. “It can be spent on almost anything within our bylaws.”

One of the poposed projects is to hold a sustainability contest on campus.

“A large amount of money would be allocated to several proposals to do a sustainability project,” said Loranger.

This rollover surplus is part of a larger budget surplus that ASWC is now trying to redirect toward an as yet undetermined purpose. The ASWC endowment has reached $344,000, Loranger said, large enough to freeze the student fee or reduce it for years to come.

“We were thinking of perhaps setting it aside for really specific student initiatives or maybe to help fund our life cycle costs,” Changa-Moon said in the meeting.

Further input is welcome on either issue, and students can contact Changa-Moon, Loranger or any of the finance committee members to suggest where they believe the money should be spent.

The next ASWC Senate meeting is open to the public and will take place in Reid G02 at 7p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19.

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