The Oberlin Review

Funding Favors Privilege

Tyler Sloan, Sports Editor

October 10, 2014

Financial support is an issue that club sport athletes must face almost daily, and the lack of funding they receive limits the accessibility of these organizations. Although the Student Finance Committee finances the teams somewhat generously each year, with 18 percent of the Student Activity Fund dedicated to the 21 club sports teams via the Club Sports Council, the funding mechanism isn’t exactly functional. For example, each year the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the Preying Manti, is given its percentage of that 18 percent of the Student Activity Fund. Yet, when it comes down to it, captains are forced to front money for a substantial portion of the team’s expenses. While the College covers expenses for tra...

SFC Cuts Hurt Quality, Accessibility of Publications

Editorial Board

October 3, 2014

At Oberlin, journalism falls largely outside the scope of any department and thus into the hands of student publications. We strive to report on issues that matter, helping students remain informed and empowering them to serve as voices for change within their community. But a recent financial decision endangers all that. This week, the Review Editorial Board is partnering with the editors of Wilder Voice to call attention to recent policy changes by the Student Finance Committee that threaten student journalism at Oberlin. The Committee’s recent budget cuts not only limit our organizations’ accessibility, but also are the result of the SFC’s willfully ignorant and biased decision-making process. In what we feel ...

OPIRG Looks Inward After Charter Amendment

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

April 26, 2013

Last semester, the Student Finance Committee began evaluating Article XI of the Student Financial Charter, which provides for a “special funding mechanism” by which student organizations can tithe an essentially automatic donation from student term bills every semester, provided that they distribute opt-out slips to students via OCMR mailboxes. According to student senators, Ohio Public Interest Research Group is the only student organization that has successfully received funding through this mechanism. In fact, according College senior and student senator Charlotte Landes, the special funding mechanism was likely created specifically for OPIRG. “My understanding is that in the ’70s ... this funding structure...

OPIRG Ready to Start in New Direction

OPIRG Board of Directors

April 19, 2013

To the Editors: From April 8 to 10, Oberlin students couldn’t move through Wilder Bowl without hearing, “Hey, have you signed the Ohio PIRG petition?” Then ... there was nothing. What happened to the OPIRG petition and why? What does this mean for the group and the school? Permit us, OPIRG’s Board of Directors, to tell our story. The issue revolves around Oberlin’s Alternative Funding Mechanism, which allows students to fund organizations collectively, as they have done with OPIRG for nearly four decades. The AFM’s transparency has attracted controversy since the 1990s. We joined the debate this semester, after the former OPIRG Board resigned. By then, the Student Finance Committee had voted to replace...

Senate Amends Financial Charter

Rosemary Boeglin, News Editor

April 19, 2013

This week the process of removing Article XI, the special funding mechanism, from the Student Financial Charter has moved into its final stages. If approved at next month’s General Faculty meeting, the existing Article XI will be replaced by a capital investment fund accessible to student organizations seeking funds for large investment purchases. The existing budgetary loophole allows for student organizations approved under Article XI to gain direct access to student funds without the oversight of the Student Financial Committee. The special funding mechanism allocates a consistent dollar amount to the organization from term bills each semester and in order to receive these funds organizations under this structure...

OPIRG Benefits from Keeping Students in the Dark

The Editorial Board

April 12, 2013

This week, Mudd, Wilder Bowl and the Science Center atrium came to feel more like midtown Manhattan than a small liberal arts campus, as Ohio Public Interest Research Group canvassers have become a ubiquitous presence. The canvassers have asked students to sign a petition supporting the continuation of an $8 fee, included in each tuition bill, that goes toward funding OPIRG. Students may opt out of the fee (officially the Alternative Student Funding Mechanism), but that obviously requires that they be aware of it first — Article XI of the Student Finance Charter leaves advertising the opt-out clause to OPIRG itself, and in a recent poll only 13 percent of students said they knew the clause existed. It may seem axiomatic...

Senate Votes to Reform Article XI

Matthew Benenson, Staff Writer

December 14, 2012

Student Senate unanimously voted to pass a resolution last Sunday urging the Student Financial Committee to “amend or remove Article XI of the Student Financial Charter in a manner that will increase its transparency and the judiciousness with which it is used to allocate student monies.” Article XI deals with the Alternate Student Funding mechanism, which allows chartered student groups to raise money through a student fee if they submit a petition signed by at least 51 percent of the student body on campus every two years. Two chartered groups on Oberlin’s campus utilize this mechanism: the Green EDGE Fund draws a $20 fee from each student and Ohio Public Interest Research Group draws $8. According to College...

SFC Responds to Survey Feedback

Student Finance Committee

November 9, 2012

Several weeks ago, the Student Finance Committee emailed a survey to the student body to gauge opinions on several issues relevant to our work. We appreciate the time you took to provide us with constructive feedback. We would like to publicly share the results of our survey and take the opportunity to respond to the primary topics of interest for the student body. In allocating money to organizations and individuals, we focus primarily on what a given request would bring back to student life on campus. We seek thoughtfully articulated budgets that demonstrate the ability to effectively execute their goals. With an active student body and a limited pool of resources, these allocation decisions often include difficult...

SFC Responds to Fall Survey

Student Finance Committee

November 11, 2011

The Student Finance Committee recently sent out a poll to gauge student opinion on a variety of issues. Thanks to everyone who took the survey and wrote comments! We would like to take the opportunity to publicly respond to several of these concerns, in order to improve communication between the SFC and the student body. If you have any concerns that are not addressed here, please feel free to get in contact with us during office hours or by e-mail ([email protected]). Some clarifications (these are points that many students expressed confusion about): Hiring: SFC members are selected by the Student Senate in May for the following academic year or as positions open up during the year. Each SFC member’s term ...

Student Finance Committee Sends Updates

The Student Finance Committee and Office of Student Treasurer

May 6, 2011

To the Editors: The Student Finance Committee, in collaboration with the Office of the Student Treasurer, has completed Spring Budgeting and has sent budgets for the next fiscal year back to student groups. In line with our commitment to improve financial transparency on Oberlin’s campus we would like to take this opportunity to describe this year’s Spring Budgeting process and some of the guidelines we followed when making our allocation decisions. This year, the deadline for budget submissions was Friday, Feb. 25, approximately a month earlier than previous years. The SFC decided to collect budgets earlier to allow more time to budget and thereby make more thoughtful allocations. The SFC reviewed 121 budgets...

All of the Lights, All of the Money

Richard McGuire

May 6, 2011

Last weekend, hundreds of students eagerly lined up on North Quad for a one of a kind event. It was a rare sight to see students gathering at the Science Center on a Saturday night for a party. The event was put on by Solarity, a new student organization founded by College sophomores Eli Clark-Davis and Daniel Cook, whose goal is to unify the student body through large-scale, high- quality social events. “We had no large draws that everyone felt comfortable and people could unite around. We decided that could be done by hosting large-scale parties in unique places that reach out to different social strata,” said Clark-Davis — and they did just that. The atrium was transformed into a Neon Garden where stud...

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