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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Clubs should spend less

Published: September 23, 2010
Section: Opinions

Brandeis Clubs have had it good and easy far way too long. When they requested money from the Student Union Finance Board (F-Board), they received most of what they needed and had successful activity–and free food–filled years. This Marathon (fund distribution session) was vastly different. Faced with a tidal wave of requests, F-Board was forced to make the hard decisions they were elected to make and many clubs were left unhappy with the result. The fact that has been underscored the least is that this is not the fault of the F-Board. When you have less than $200,000 to distribute fairly, and you receive requests in excess of $400,000, things will have to get cut. They do not posses the magical ability to make money appear out of thin air. It is also well known that just like the rest of the country, Brandeis University has its own money problems. There is a simple solution and I am surprised no one has suggested it yet. Clubs should request less money.

On campus, campaigns are all about conserving, protecting and saving; however, I seldom hear clubs say “conserve money,” “protect our financial security,” and “save money for a rainy day.” With all the preaching and whining that goes on around campus it is time people decided to use their ability to draw attention to a problem and focus it on the immediate issue, which is our financial security.

Whenever I pass by a table in Usdan or the Shapiro Campus Center, someone always says “…we need to do our part to help people all over the world, even if that means sacrificing a little …”. If that rationale applies to the Cage-Free Eggs initiative, starving children in the Congo and the abolition of poverty worldwide, then why does that not apply to Brandeis University clubs. The ‘Deis Dems and Republicans can take the commuter rail to an event instead of cabs, the Justice can only have four colored pages instead of eight, SSIS can skip one holiday where they hand out latex gloves and condoms. These are just a few examples and I am in no way picking on these clubs, because every club can give up something.

In the era of hearing “Yes We Can,” our generation has become spoiled. It might be hard to say no, but, to survive as a community, it is imperative that we learn to say no. During the course of the year, we will have more and more funds open up for our use; however, until then, I urge every club president to take their marathon request and cut it by at least 50 percent and resubmit. Seeing how much clubs are suffering, I am going to give money back (on behalf of the Bollywood Club) to F-Board to distribute to a club that barely received money. In times of need, personal responsibility should extend beyond the self and become societal responsibility.