A response to “What is the Difference”

Given last week’s editorial, “What is the Difference,” we feel it is important to clarify and expand on some of the statements made and to make clear what the difference really is.

The majority of funding cuts from requested budget amounts actually came from larger organizations, namely MAC, Sports Club Council, The ORC, IM Sports, the Oredigger, GSA, and even ASCSM.

The funding cuts on food, imposed even on budget committee’s four hour meetings, were made because funding is always short and having food at regular meeting was viewed as an unnecessary luxury. However, the committee funded other food costs for events and special meetings, no matter how closed or publicized the event.

There was also an agreement upon the distinction between retreats and conferences. Retreats are defined as internal events attended by almost the entire club membership and are intended to give clubs a direction for the next two semesters. Conferences usually consist of no more than six or seven Club members attending an event at which thoughts and ideas are discussed with others from similar organizations. Budget committee consistently funded the entire cost of retreats and covered half of the overall cost of conferences, unless those expenses were already more than half covered. This decision was made on the basis that retreats are geared towards organizational growth, whereas conferences are typically more for personal growth.

Perhaps the most confusing policy of all is the one concerning T-Shirts. They cannot be bought with the intention of giving them away to just the members of the Club for free. They can, however, be used in fundraisers, sold to anyone at a subsidized rate, or even given away to anyone on campus, which is what ASCSM intends to do as part of our new campaign to foster school spirit. Other than the T-Shirt restriction, once a Club or Organization has received their funds from ASCSM, they are free to purchase any items that benefit the club or campus. Examples of this would be the purchase of folding tables and chairs for club use, Senior Stetsons, or stickers to be given away as advertising, whereas a plasma screen TV for a Club Officer would not be funded.

We don’t claim that the budget allocation process is perfect, but we have endeavored to be as consistent as possible with our metric and we will always listen to suggestions. The most straightforward channel for communicating concerns regarding club funding would be through BSO or through the Budget Committee. In fact, BSO is more than willing to help any Club or Organization with any issue they have encountered, no matter how small or big the problem.

ASCSM wants to be transparent when it comes to policies and decisions, so don’t hesitate to find us in the hallways or join us at our meetings. Regular ASCSM Senate meetings occur every other Thursday night in the Ballrooms, with the next meeting being held on October 7th at 7PM, and all present are welcome to participate in the Public Forum. Feel free to ask us questions and bring us your concerns. We are here to help the Student Body and nothing else. That is the difference.

Having only just begun, we have already done four appreciable things for students: set aside half of the ASCSM Presidential Pay to support school spirit, enabled returning students bearing large water guns to participate in the M-Climb without preregistration, held a public forum on parking (the bulk of concerns have been met or are being met), and just recently put our support behind a letter demanding an apology from our district representative after he made insensitive remarks about Mines.

Looking forward, there is a lot in store. Several highlights include revitalizing old traditions, creating new ones to make the Mines experience more enjoyable, encouraging school spirit, and making Thanksgiving break a whole week.

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