Three Questions, Nine Answers: The Finance Committee

ASWC “provides funding to its constituent student organizations and individual members for the co-curricular and extra-curricular enrichment of all ASWC members,” according to Article VII of the ASWC Bylaws.  The Finance Committee is the main body charged with overseeing the allocation of funding for ASWC.  Here, a trio of Finance Committee members shares their thoughts.

What is your personal budget philosophy regarding ASWC?

Mitchell Cutter: My personal philosophy is to support as many clubs as possible, and especially those with proven success and consistent activity over several years. These clubs are integral to the Whitman campus. After this, I support diversity in what clubs are present on campus. As far as student trips go, I always like to see a well-written and presented proposal by groups, and a definite plan to bring something back to campus.

Erik Anderson: I try to weigh each request that comes before the finance committee knowing that ASWC’s role is to support student community and leadership on campus and that we as the finance committee have a set budget from which we are working.

Allison Kelly: I believe that ASWC should guarantee that there is enough money each budgeting cycle not only to support all of the campus media organizations and clubs, but also to ensure that there is enough room to continue to develop the student life on campus. I value the importance of the finance committee to set the fee and budget, and I understand that the decisions we make influence a major proportion of the student life on campus.

Why do you like being a part of the Finance Committee? 

Erik: I enjoy knowing what students are doing to make our campus better and being able to, in some small part, support their ambitions.

Allison: I enjoy the critical thinking.

Mitchell: I like being part of Finance Committee because it is one of the most integral parts of what ASWC does for students, and I get to familiarize myself with all of the cool and unique things that students are doing on this campus. Clubs and sports have also always been a huge part of my life, so I enjoy interacting with these groups.

What are your thoughts on the recent student fee increase?

Allison: The student fee increase was essential to ensuring that existing ASWC-affiliated
organizations could be supported as well as encouraged to develop.

Mitchell: I was advocating for a higher increase in the student fee, so as to try and fill many of the requests that Finance receives, including Club Sports and WEB. With the financial maneuvering we did with extra student fees and the Life Cycle fund, the $10 increase that we approved is a good moderate selection that will adjust for inflation and give ASWC extra funds to try and fill requests from several new clubs that started this year.

Erik: The student fee increase was fairly small this year, considering the decrease in projected enrollment and inflation.  With the small increase that we made on top of accounting for these, ASWC should be able to better support large campus events, like the recent Power and Privilege Symposium, as well as increase the budgets of clubs and campus media organizations who had a bit of an austerity crisis thrust upon them this year.