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Senior VP responds to Union protest of SE funding decision

Published: January 25, 2008
Section: News

Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy sent an explanatory e-mail Jan. 18 to the student body regarding her decision to allow Students Event direct access to the Student Events Fee following a Union demonstration in December protesting the decision.

Eddy explained in her e-mail, “it is important…for all students to understand the context within which the decision was made to have a clear understanding of the actual implications of the decision.”

The decision, which is being implemented this semester, removes SE from Union Financial Board oversight. Previously, SE had to report to the F-board like other student clubs.

In the e-mail, Eddy wrote that she made the decision because she was “troubled by the fact that a balance of funds intended to benefit our students was left unspent [by the F-board],” and that she was also “troubled to hear that [Student Events] felt constrained by the current fund allocation process.”

Director of Union Affairs Jason Gray ’10 found Eddy’s arguments dubious. “What Jean Eddy is trying to do is confound two issues into one,” he said. “When she made the decision, the reason she explained was to improve social life.” He added, “social life won’t be improved by changing funding.”

“Democracy was violated,” Gray remarked, “the letter in response didn’t deal with that.”

“There’s a problem with a system that allows a person to…[be] judge, jury and executioner,” said Gray. “There needs to be a process for the community to review decisions.”

Eddy’s decision essentially overrides the SAF amendment passed by a vote of the student body in 2006, which gave the F-board oversight of all student monies. This has led the Union to accuse Eddy of violating the voice of the student body and the Student Union Constitution.

“Statements that there has been a violation of the Student Union Constitution, or that some percentage of the allocable student activities budget has been taken away from students is a gross misperception at best,” wrote Eddy. “No money has been taken out of the hands of students.”

Gray disagreed with Eddy’s statements regarding constitutionality. “I don’t know what constitution she’s reading,” remarked Gray.

Gray explained that according to the Union Constitution, the F-board allocates funds to all charted clubs. “She changed that process. That’s a direct violation of that aspect of the Constitution,” he said. The sections violated include Article 5, Section 1 and Article 7, Section 4, said Gray.