College Council approved its subgroup allocations as recommended by the Finance Committee (FinCom) for the 1999-2000 academic year allocating $224,489 to various student groups. The Literary Review was the only organization to have its funding changed by CC from the recommendations of FinCom.
The Literary Review, a student-run literary organization, had been allocated $4000 for the year for production of two issues of its magazine the Literary Review. When issues arose concerning the magazine’s distribution process, which consists of placing a copy of the magazine in every student’s SU box, the Council voted to revise the arts subgroup allocation to not include the Literary Review.
CC then voted to fund the remainder of the arts subgroup and subsequently allocated $2000 to the Literary Review for the first semester. CC agreed to revisit the issue of The Literary Review’s second semester funding after formulating a policy for distribution of campus publications.
According to CC Co-president Bert Leatherman ’00, FinCom and the arts subgroup will need to reconvene and consider objection to the funding, as stated in the CC bylaws, before the actual funding can go ahead.
Leatherman noted, “This action is not without precedent: last year Council eliminated the salary of the Peace and Justice news typists, even though that organization was in a subgroup. Last year we also revised downward the debate team’s budget (and left open the door for them to return later in the year to ask for auxiliary funds). Two years ago, Council revised the spiritualism subgroup allocation even after the treasurers and the finance committee had reached a consensus. In all these cases, the subcommittees on funding voiced no objections.”
Though the Council has agreed to consider additional funding for the Literary Review later in the year, the Literary Review, in a letter to CC, asked that the Council “recognize that the Literary Review’s funding was denied on the basis of a policy that did not exist when we submitted our self-audit last spring, that did not exist when subgroup allocations were decided this fall, and that still does not exist.”
In light of the Literary Review incident several members of CC expressed their disapproval with the funding process in general. In a letter that Council Representative Morgan Barth ’02 wrote to the Council, “Last week we approved about $150,000 in club budgets without two minutes of discussion. Our vote is just a silly rubber stamp that approves the budgets that the club treasurers and Finance Committee decided on. For various bad reasons the CC delegates its budget-setting powers to the Finance Committeeâ€”a group of people not elected by the student body but rather appointed by the CC.”