[Editorial] Fund Distribution: Reevaluating a Flawed Process
by The Milton Measure on Friday, November 8th, 2013
Milton sets aside a portion of its annual operating budget to fund clubs and organizations. A number of leaders in the Milton community, including the Administration Team, decide how much money to grant a club based on a loose assessment of the cost of running that club. There is no question that giving different organizations different amounts of money is fair because some require more money to operate, while others run with very little. However, there is no standard by which the Administrative Team assesses clubs to determine how much to fund them, and, as a result, many clubs are both over and under-funded.
Organizations with larger funds have more liberty to plan elaborate meetings or outings, and consequently, they attract a larger following. Hence, the amount of money that a club is funded plays an important role in how it is represented on campus. Who is to say that SIMA is a more vital part of Milton than the Latino Association? The heads, board members, and passionate attendees of each club can make a case for why their club deserves more funding and the opportunity to play a major role in campus life.
At the moment, the Administration Team does not have a comprehensive system for allocating funds. The present process increases each club’s budget at the rate of inflation unless a club representative requests more funding. That request is passed through several people before it reaches an Administration Team that is ready to make a decisive choice. The Administration Team then assesses all of the requests for more funding and compares them to the money that they have to work with to determine which clubs get how much more money. However, at that point, there is no way for the Administration Team to make accurate decisions on allocating ample funds to deserving clubs.
It is clear to us at the Milton Measure that the system in place for funding student groups is ineffective, and it lacks sound rationale for how much money goes to which clubs. So why don’t we change the system? Newly elected club heads along with the outgoing senior leaders should create their own budgets based on the funding they received the previous year and the expected cost of changes they plan to implement. They would then send this clear proposal to the Administration Team, and based on the exact budget that each club leader presents, the team can more appropriately grant funds.
In the current system, organizations that finish the year with budget surpluses maintain similar budgets for the following year. As a result, clubs that are overfunded continue to be overfunded and clubs that are underfunded struggle to have influence at Milton. Budget surpluses should not be implicitly deducted from the following year’s budget because such a system promotes trivial spending at the end of the year. However, each club leader’s proposal to the Administration Team should include how much money was left over after a year. That way, the Administration Team can have more insight into how to more fairly fund clubs so the same overfunded clubs will not perennially take funds from underfunded organizations like FLAG and Public Issues Board who the have vital job of bringing influential speakers to campus, yet have limitations because of their smaller budgets.
By reevaluating how funds are allocated, we can ensure that clubs and organizations more fairly receive the support they need from the school. With student leaders managing their own budgets and presenting proposals to the Administration Team, clubs will have a clear voice in the decision-making process of the funds they receive. Moreover, students will learn how to effectively and efficiently manage a budget. It is our responsibility as the leaders of clubs and groups at this school to use only the money that is needed to fulfill the mission that we have set out to make, and then share the remainder of our funds with clubs who are in need.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=5452