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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: SAF reform is the resonsibility of students, not administrators

Published: February 10, 2006
Section: Opinions

Though the Student Unions new Student Activities Fee (SAF) proposal has provoked criticism from staff and students alike, the issue of SAF reform is still an important one that must be considered. Student leaders, as well as the student body and the administration, recognize the need for changes in how the SAF is disbursed.

As of now, non-secured clubs are unable to get the complete funding they need to hold their programs and coordinate events. Students find the current funding process confusing. For a club leader, financing an event can be downright discouraging.
Most importantly, secured groups are currently unaccountable for their spending.

Never are they asked to prove that their financial needs require an increase or decrease in their piece of the pie. If the student body is paying for a secured group and allowing them to function and pursue other means of revenue, it seems only fair that all costs and all revenue be made perfectly transparent for review by the community.

Though the Unions proposal may be in disarray, the pursuit of a simple, effective and equitable system that maximizes the potential of our SAF is in the interest of every club and organization on this campus.

Some members of the Student Union were upset by our last editorial. They claim that they were, in fact, transparent and open in regards to the SAF reform process.
In an October 2005 editorial, The Hoot proposed a media board. It garnered widespread support of other campus media groups and was acknowledged and commended by key players in this reform. The Hoot was given the impression that our propositions would be used in designing an effective system for the disbursement of funds among media groups. We were not consulted further.

Yet, none of our suggestions seem to have made it into any working model of the SAF.

Even still in this open public process, we dont know of any proposals made by other groups on campus.

As a newspaper, we have a public forum to discuss these issues. Where are other groups suggestions? In order to make this process completely exposed and transparent, any and all suggestions should be open to the public and made available online to discuss. How else can students know that student leaders have proposed the best system four our university?

We believe that student money should be controlled by students, and not by the administration. However, we want to see a proposal that serves the priorities of the student body as a whole, and not special interest groups.