Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

ASWC solicits student input

The Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) Finance Committee, which manages “over $900,000 in student assets,” began an awareness campaign to stimulate student involvement in student government finances last Thursday as they placed cardstock fliers containing Committee information and contacts in student mailboxes.

“We’re trying to let people know that we exist,” David Changa-Moon, ASWC Finance Committee Chair, said.

“We have resources on campus that we want to make available to the students and we also want to give them more information about the student government… and what services it can provide for them.”

Letting students know that they can voice their opinion regarding ASWC’s allocation of funds is the first of several steps the ASWC Finance Committee is taking to bridge an apparent communications gap between the student body and its representative government.

“This was the first step, we just wanted to get information out there,” Changa-Moon said. “Every week before our meetings we send out an e-mail to the student listserv that states the agenda items that we will be discussing at that meeting so that people can look at them, peruse them, and say ‘O.K., this might be something that I’m interested in,'”

Until recently, however, few students have attended the Finance Committee meetings.

“Typically, there is not a whole lot of [student] involvement,” Changa-Moon said. “I know there are two students who [attend meetings] and have said that they are interested. Since the fliers came out it looks like there may be a couple more spots of interest and maybe when the tabletoppers go out there may be even more interest.”

Interest may also grow as a result of the topics that will be covered by the Finance Committee in the next several months. There is a proposal on the ASWC Senate floor which suggests that the $44,299 ASWC Savings Fund be “split in two,” according to a memorandum issued by the Finance Committee.

A small portion of that money ($4,299) will be “transferred to the Travel and Student Development fund” in
order “to further fund this active and diminishing source of money for students,” according to the memorandum.

The remaining $40,000, as suggested by the Committee, should “be treated as a general fund for student initiatives,” according to the memorandum.

“If the fund was to be created, I’m partial to having open meetings,” Changa-Moon said. “We’d consider proposals. Any student at large that wants to come can listen in and weigh in, if they want. We will most likely hold special sessions of the Finance Committee, depending on the volume of requests we receive from
students that want to sit in [on the meetings].”

Changa-Moon says that nearly every aspect of ASWC finances is talked about at Committee meetings and nearly all are open to the public. The only closed session of the Finance Committee will be when it “goes through budgeting in April,” which is when it “reviews every single request from the 70-plus line items that it has,” said Changa-Moon.

The ASWC Finance Committee meets every Thursday at 4 p.m. in room 110 or 207 of the Reid Campus Center and e-mails concerning the Committee can be sent to [email protected].

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