Student body should approve of Allocations Board amendment

November 6, 2015

Student Union President Nyah Macklin ’16 held a press conference last week announcing changes to the Allocations Board, the student-run body that determines club funding. Responsible for the nearly impossible task of trying to spread a limited amount of funds among a multitude of clubs, A-Board has been disappointing. Their communication with club leaders regarding why certain requests were denied has been sub-par, leaving some feeling “personally attacked,” according to Macklin. While it is sad that three members of A-Board have had to resign this semester for personal reasons, changes had to be made.

A proposed amendment to the Union Constitution concerning A-Board governance has been sent to the student body for a vote, the details of which are covered in an article in The Brandeis Hoot this week. When faced with the alternative of the status quo, the student body should approve of this amendment.

The addition of new voting members to the Allocations Board, increasing from five to nine, is the greatest benefit of this amendment. With a larger representation of the student body deciding on club funding, student interests can be better met. Previously, with only five members making the decisions, entire sections of the student population were not heard in regards to their funding requests. While an extra four students still will not completely represent the community, it is an improvement.

Additionally, a second racial minority position on A-Board allows for better representation. We appreciate the fact that minority representation was a consideration with the expanding size.

The staggered term limits outlined in the amendment provides for balance of power, while allowing certain members of the board enough time to understand the intricacies of the process. The A-Board members who resigned were unaware how consuming the allocations process was, according to Union Chief of Staff Justin Carlisle ’16. Having some members of the Board stay on for three semesters, instead of two in previous years, creates the opportunity for senior members to train new additions to the Board, never allowing a completely new Board to be in charge. Students will also be able to vote for new members of the Board each semester, allowing fresh voices to come onto the Board. Board members will also be able to re-elect the chair each semester, a welcome change.

The amendment does not mention the possibility of impeachment for members of the Board, something that should be addressed by the Union in the future if these changes do not prove to be fruitful. In the meantime, however, the student body should welcome these proposed changes to Allocations Board in the vote that is currently open. The allocations process is long and strenuous, and the most recent marathon has proven that it requires large-scale changes to be more responsive to student feelings. This amendment is a step in the right direction.

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