Last week, College Council (CC) launched the third iteration of the Great Ideas Campaign. The campaign, which first occurred in fall 2008 and has since become an annual event, will solicit project proposals from students through the Sunday deadline.
According to Emanuel Yekutiel ’11, CC co-president, CC has made the Great Ideas Campaign a yearly event because previous years have been successful. While the first campaign occurred as a result of extra money discovered when cleaning out student group accounts, CC is able to fund the campaign on a regular basis as a result of changes to the rollover policy for student organizations.
“The policy used to be that funds left in organizations’ student accounts rolled over to the next year,” Yekutiel said. “We changed this because we found that it made the sub-group allocation process difficult and unfair, so now we clean out groups’ accounts at the end of every year.” According to Yekutiel, the money left over is used for the CC Projects Fund, which funds the Great Ideas Campaign, and for the Capital Investment Fund.
Yekutiel added that there are ethical issues with the concept of allowing money in a group’s account to rollover from one year to the next. “Having money in an account from previous years could upset the groups’ ability to receive a much larger portion the next year,” he said. “Rollover skews what current organizational leaders can do by tying the current group’s financial plans to the previous year’s programming.” Yekutiel went on to note that fluctuations in group needs and activities from one year to the next could mean that groups may need more or less money from year to year.
With the current model, Yekutiel said, the amount of money available in the CC Projects Fund varies from year to year. Because the money comes from leftover funds in student accounts, he added, there may be years when no money is deposited into the CC Projects Fund. Yekutiel stated that he was unsure how much money was available for the Great Ideas Campaign this year.
Following the Nov. 21 Great Ideas deadline, CC Campus will gather the ideas to vet them before presenting them to CC as a whole, which Yekutiel expects to occur by the end of the semester. In the past, the CC Projects Fund has sponsored projects including the textbook reserve program, the bike share program, the sustainable garden, the video game library in Sawyer and last year’s Winter Carnival celebration in Paresky.