To the Editors of the Argus,

First and foremost, the WSA is not defunding the Argus and has never attempted to do so.

As stipulated in our bylaws (Article VI, Section 2, II, F) every spring the SBC reassumes the unused funds in the accounts of all student groups. The purpose of this practice is to redirect idle funds towards other student groups’ events and projects. For example, in 2014 the SBC reassumed funds from 28 student groups; most notably $14,000 from the Senior Class Council and $8,000 unused funds from the Argus.

At the start of reassumptions in early March, the SBC and WSA Office noted that the Argus had $10,920.28 left of the original $13,375.00 awarded to them by the SBC on January 25, 2016. It also came to the attention of the SBC and WSA Office that the Argus had another $12,580.32 in a separate account, which they amassed via donations and ad income over the course of this year. This came as a surprise as the Argus failed to disclose that they received outside funding when asked directly on their funding request form and in their SBC meeting.

When asked about the $12,580.32, the Argus referred to the money as an “emergency fund,” for which they had no demonstrated use. Because emergency and rainy day funds siphon funding away from other groups, the SBC considers them auxiliary funding. This is a policy that has been demonstrated by past SBC decisions pertaining to Club Rugby and Sailing team.

The SBC is not blocking the Argus’ funding nor inhibiting their functioning. The Argus currently has $12,580.32 and is eligible to reapply for funding if needed. Prior to reassumptions, the Argus had $23,500.60 with plans to use only half and let $12,580.32 sit idly. The SBC reassumed the $10,920.28 that remained from the SBC’s original award to the Argus. That amount of money can make an incredible difference to a variety of student groups, most of which do not have the Argus’ revenue or fundraising capabilities.

This is by no means a political conflict. A student newspaper requesting funding from a student government structure is inherently ideologically flawed and deserves further community debate. We look forward to discussing this issue openly with the Argus on Wednesday to come to a collaborative and agreeable solution. We also invite all interested parties to join us for a community discussion at our next WSA open meeting next Sunday at 6pm in 41 Wyllys, Room 114.


The WSA Student Budget Committee

Justin Kim (Chair)

Isabel Linzer

Madison Moore

Catherine Wulff

Barnabas Wang

Alessio Larios

Serene Murad


  • Think again

    “When the Argus was faced with the prospect of a financial crisis
    last semester, it didn’t sit back, it hustled. It went out and got
    alumni and other supporters to provide it with a cushion—an insurance
    policy. And while that cushion wasn’t needed this semester, it could be
    in the future. But as a result of WSA’s actions, if it is needed, it
    won’t be there.

    The people who donated to the Argus could have donated to the general
    fund of the WSA if they’d wanted to. They didn’t. They donated to the
    Argus to provide the Argus with supplemental funding above and beyond
    what the WSA gave them. By cutting the Argus’s other funding in
    response, WSA is in effect appropriating that donated money for its own
    purposes. That’s wrong.

    And it’s wrong even if it isn’t (as it appears it may be) a violation
    of both the letter and the spirit of WSA’s own bylaws. It’s wrong
    because it has the effect of discouraging student groups from taking the
    initiative to fundraise, and of discouraging outside individuals and
    groups from making such donations. If I’m thinking of donating to a
    Wesleyan student organization, and I know that any money I give the
    group will be cut from the group’s budget, I have no incentive to give.”

  • OccupareVeritas

    “A student newspaper requesting funding from a student government
    structure is inherently ideologically flawed and deserves further
    community debate.”

    Similar to the ideological flaws in the Democrat and Republican student groups or social justice groups requesting funding? Or is the system only ideologically flawed if the petitioners are not sufficiently and ideologically pleasing to the little petty overlords who have been granted the privilege and responsibility to oversee the disbursement of student funds? It’s a responsibility that has been granted, not an opportunity to play micro scale political games with people you don’t like, modeling the worst reality show version of politics in the real world. Having been involved in more than a few SGAs, it can either be a rewarding experience, or it can be like watching a bunch of kids on the playground modeling the worst behaviors of someone’s angry and abusive parents. You have the rest of your life to be petty, let it go for now.

  • Ralphiec88

    The continued blatant dishonesty from WSA should give any member of the Wes community or potential employer pause. One can only hope they will graduate and be replaced with people of integrity. No one can reasonably say that the Argus’ fund drive was a surprise or secret, and of course it came after Argus filled out their paperwork since it was a response to a later event: the WSA vote to “improve” the Argus by redistributing its funds.
    This is quite transparently a move by WSA to cut off at the knees the Argus effort to protect its independence through external support. The WSA members are being relentlessly disingenuous about their actions. I would urge each WSA member to look in the mirror and as yourself: “Is this really what you want to be now and for the rest of your life?”