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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: “Continued discussion and debate is necessary” before constitution is amended

Published: March 31, 2006
Section: Opinions

To The Members of the Brandeis Community,
At WBRS, we are concerned about the recent proposal to reform the SAF system. We realize that for most clubs, this proposal looks like an opportunity to increase their funding and expand their clubs. We would love to see this happen and would be more than willing to sacrifice a portion of our budget for this purpose. However, the SAF amendment as it currently stands does not fix the flaws in the distribution of monies. Rather, it places new stresses on an already overwhelmed system.

The amendment was drafted by the Union behind closed doors. Despite initial efforts by Union officials to meet with secured organizations, get their input and understand their concerns, the Union did not keep us informed of the many and frequent changes made as the amendment was drafted. Many of these changes we feel are detrimental to the effectiveness of this amendment in guaranteeing a fair and equal distribution of money.

People may doubt our ability as WBRS to judge what is fair and equal. However, we have always strived to use our budget to support organizations and improve the social life on campus. We have been very lucky to have received a budget that has allowed us to serve the community beyond simply broadcasting music, news and sports programming.

We have used our budget to co-sponsor events, dee-jay parties, provide free giveaways, food and beer and organize concerts. For example, if this amendment were to pass, our ability to plan Springfest would be jeopardized. At a time when Modfest, a hallmark of the Brandeis social calendar, has been eliminated, passing this amendment will endanger one of the few remaining staples of Brandeis social life. Under the proposed amendment, WBRS will lose a third of our budget. We feel this will impair our ability to function beyond simply maintaining our on-air programming.

Under the current system clubs are required to submit budgets and requests for additional funding to the F-Board. The passage of this amendment will place the additional strain of the previously secured organizations on an already congested system. Giving F-Board more money does not change the confusing way in which they distribute money to clubs and events. Giving F-Board more money does not necessarily guarantee that clubs will receive the greater funding they desire. We would be willing to part with some our budget if we felt that SAF reform would truly improve how our money gets distributed.

Before we are members of WBRS, we are Brandeis students. We are more than willing to accept a budget cut in order to support a transparent, unambiguous amendment. We want to see an amendment which places priority on making substantive changes in the way that F-Board distributes money, rather than simply rearranging money to the detriment of certain clubs. We commend and respect the Student Union for their efforts to fix these problems;

however, at this time, continued discussion and debate is necessary.

The WBRS Executive Board