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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Weight room to receive rollover funds

Published: May 2, 2008
Section: Front Page

In a vote concerning Student Union finances, the student body voted to spend rollover funding on updating the Gosman weight room and to approve changes to the Union Constitution.

According to the proposal written by the weight room committee of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the weight room’s current equipment is outdated and in disrepair.

The rollover funds would be used to replace the old work out machines and dumb bells as well as set up additional Olympic weight lifting equipment in the room adjacent to the weight room.

While the funds will not be used to repair the actual room in any way, they will be used to “refresh” the equipment every few years even after the old equipment has been replaced.

“This will make a big difference,” Michael Shoretz ’09, one of three students on the weight room committee, said. “If people here value their health, they need a place to take care of their bodies, and the old weight room doesn’t allow them to do that.”

Cassidy Dadaos ’09 was another student on the weight room committee and said that the proposal will “affect the whole campus not just now, but for the future too.”

In order to make use of $100,000 in rollover funds, former Union President Shreeya Sinha ‘09 and former Union Treasurer Choon Woo Ha ‘08 elected to allow the student body to vote on how to use the funds. Students were able to submit spending proposals.

Sinha sent an e-mail to the student body April 11 explaining the guidelines for student proposals. The proposals, she explained in the e-mail, must enhance the lives of students.

Students chose between eight proposals approved by the Union. The proposals included a one-day carnival, a peace and social justice week, renovations to Chum’s, a ten member delegation to Rwanda, a new weight room in Gosman, a radio transmitter for WBRS, solar panels for a university building, and free STI testing for 300 students.

The vote to allocate the rollover money to the weight room was a close one, with a margin of 22 votes. 496 students voted to give the money to the weight room (37.43 percent), while 474 students (36.77 percent) voted to spend the money on putting solar panels on a Brandeis building.

Phil Lacombe ’10, a proponent of the solar panel proposal, was disappointed in the final decision.

“Considering that the students didn’t need to money anyway, I wish we could have used the money toward something more selfless,” he said. “I wanted to use it to help something larger than just the campus.

Dan Orkin ‘10 voted to renovate Chum’s—a proposal which received 139 votes. “It’s an investment that affects tons of clubs,” he said. “The kitchen equipment is non-existent, the PA system is on its last legs and while peace and social justice week is a Brandeis idea, it’s not a lasting investment.”

The student body also voted to pass an amendment to the Constitution, which would change the way the Capital Expenditures and Emergency Fund works in an effort to minimize future rollovers.

The Capital Expenditures and Emergency Fund, according to the amendment, is an emergency fund run by the Finance board, which gives emergency funds to clubs in need.

This new amendment changed the minimum reserve balance from $150,000 to $25,000 and lowered the minimum price of a single club purchase to $5,000. According to the amendment, these changes were necessary in order to “ensure the stability of the Union’s financial affairs and allocations” as well as increase the accessibility of the Capital Expenditures fund to the student body.

Ha said made this amendment the main initiative of his Presidency this year, adding that he was “relieved” that the amendment passed: “It’s a great way to end the year.”

According to Ha, the drafting of the amendment was a group effort made by the entire F-Board and believes that the passing of this amendment shows that “the students have faith in their elected officials.”