College Council has reclaimed approximately $50,000 from unused funds allocated to defunct student groups. Most of the funds have been untouched for many years.
“There are always a lot of student organizations that exist on the books but haven’t been active in many years. They have money in their accounts but didn’t use it,” CC co-president, Peter Nurnberg ’09 said.
As CC treasurer, Nurnberg began closing these groups’ accounts last year, a job his successor, Rachel Levy ’09, has continued. To be closed, an account has to be inactive for at least two years.
CC co-presidents Nurnberg and Jeremy Goldstein ’09 plan to use the extra money in two ways. First, they solicited students for proposals on how to best spend $35,000. “We now want to use that money for a large campus improvement project and we are giving the student body the power to decide how to spend it,” wrote the co-presidents in an all-campus e-mail on Monday.
The proposals they requested must fit three conditions. They should affect a large portion of the campus, should not explicitly exclude any part of the campus from the use of the money and must abide by college rules. If interested, students should e-mail their ideas to CCFall2008Elections@gmail.com by next Tuesday.
Goldstein and Nurnberg plan to discuss responses to their all-campus e-mail in a CC Campus meeting, a subgroup of CC. The group will then select the proposals which they think are feasible and have the potential to affect the majority of the campus. Students will be able to rank these proposals in order of preference during CC elections on Sept. 20 and 21. The money will be used for the highest ranking proposal.
“This is a rare opportunity to have a significant chunk of money to do something big for the campus,” Nurnberg said.
Before deciding to poll the community, CC Campus met and considered making the decision on how these funds could be best used themselves. Options they discussed included giving it to ACE to bring in a bigger name for Spring Fling, buying books for the 1914 Library, purchasing a tent for outdoor events and adding gaming equipment like pool and foosball tables to dorms. “No use of the money stood out as being most deserving,” Goldstein said. “We decided ultimately that since we were torn about what was the best use of the money, we might as well let others help decide.”
CC plans to allocate the other $15,000 to its reserves for safety and discretionary measures in case their budget runs low later in the year. “A healthy portion of [the funds are] being saved both as a cushion in case more groups than expected request funding as well as a reserve in case emergency spending is needed,” Goldstein said.