CC creates Capital Investment Fund to prevent funding crises

On Oct. 13, College Council (CC) adopted a resolution for the creation of a Capital Investment Fund (CIF) for student organizations.

CC will set aside a pool of money for groups that require large purchases and long-term investments in order to function.
The capital will come from a portion of the treasurer’s Discretionary Fund and from a portion of CC’s funds remaining at the end of each spring semester.

One of the underlying reasons for the CIF’s creation was to prevent issues such as the funding ordeal that the College’s sailing team recently faced.

“As it stands, our funding system cannot accommodate groups that require larger, more sporadic funding allocations,” said Beryl Manning-Geist ’11, CC secretary. “Sailing is a great example. The sailing club requires about $9000 to buy two boats every few years. This is a big burden to place on our accounts.”

According to Manning-Geist, in previous years, when sailing was allotted money for new boats, other clubs would see significant reductions in their funding allocations.

CC treasurer Francesca Barrett ’12 stressed the urgency behind the creation of the fund as it is meant to prevent clubs from dissolving.

She added that one of CC’s primary goals is to “keep students doing what they love” even in the face of high costs associated with groups such as sailing and WCFM.

Manning-Geist described the application process for CIF funds as detailed and extensive.

“We feel it should be [rigorous] if groups are asking for large sums of student money,” she said.

Any subgroup is eligible to apply for access to the funds if it has already demonstrated significant effort to obtain funds as judged by the Financial Committee.

As outlined in the resolution, “[the] requested investment must last longer than a traditional Williams student’s career,” and “applications must be submitted at least two years prior to the requested investment.”

Student organizations hoping to receive CIF funds must also create detailed plans for independent fund raising.

According to Barrett, CC also hopes that the creation of the fund will benefit future councils.

In the past, various councils would delay granting large sums of money until issues became too pressing to ignore.

Delays were often the result of CC members’ hesitance to invest in projects they would not be able to see through to completion.

Additionally, Barrett said some treasurers demonstrated bias when allocating funds, which she believes will largely be prevented by the creation of the CIF.

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