On Sunday, April 5, The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) passed a resolution that offers student groups the option to donate their remaining Student Budget Committee (SBC) funds to various campus relief efforts.
Student groups who wish to donate the funds left in their SBC account must either have their financial manager email WSA Chief of Staff Adam Hickey ’22 or fill out a form by April 17 detailing how much of their funds they wish to donate. They can choose to donate to the FGLI advisory board’s GoFundMe efforts to provide a second round of stipends to students with no expected family contribution to their tuition, the WSA’s Emergency Fund and other potential future responses to the University campus closure and COVID-19 pandemic, or both.
“Right now, there are tens of thousands of dollars in various student groups’ SBC accounts,” SBC Vice-Chair and primary sponsor of the resolution Sam Brumer ’22 wrote in an email to The Argus. “By all accounts that I have seen, we are just entering what will be weeks of shut down, which means weeks without income for many students and their families. I hope this resolution will allow us to better respond to the needs of students and stop us from having large sums of money sitting around, unused.”
Any funds that student groups choose not to donate will be allocated to them in the next academic year, provided that student groups resubmit their requests during the Summer or Fall 2020 budget period for the same amount initially requested. These requests must also reflect that student groups intend to use their funding for the same purpose it was initially allocated for.
Brumer emphasized that both student groups who have not yet been reimbursed and groups that will postpone their spending to next year are guaranteed funds, provided their requests follow the guidelines outlined in the resolution.
“When campus closed, not only did dozens of events get cancelled, but the Finance Office announced they will stop processing reimbursements earlier than normal because most student groups were inoperational,” Brumer wrote. “However, many students had already fronted costs out of pocket and could not meet the Finance Office’s deadline. This is not to say their deadline was unreasonable—the Office has been doing great work to process as much as they can as fast as they can, and I think their decision to close early makes sense. But there are going to be a few students caught on the fringes of any decision, so this resolution guarantees that any student group that wasn’t able to use their SBC money can get that money back next year.”
Jocelyn Maeyama can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.