I was recently contacted and asked to participate in a survey on club funding for the Student Union AMP Task Force. As I read the very first question, I felt that the survey was already starting off on the wrong foot. It began:
Whenever a new club is chartered, it gains the ability to request… money… This makes the amount of money available to existing clubs lower.
A statement which seemed to imply that clubs should want to keep each other from being chartered, a sentiment further supported by the remainder of the question:
…to petition for chartering, a club needs 100 signatures of support… What other methods could demonstrate… support for a club?
As the (outgoing) president of a chartered club (Amnesty International), I have never sought to prevent the chartering of other campus clubs, and have always supported those clubs I considered worthy. I have furthermore never feared that my clubs funding needs (minor as they may be) would not be met because of the chartering of some new club.
Clubs are chartered and de-chartered all the time, and they go through periods of heavy and light activity. The logical continuation of the above method of thinking would seem to be that clubs should fight to have one another de-chartered, that they might be able to seize a bigger piece of the Finance Board pie. This is a method of thought, in my opinion, strictly at odds with Brandeis founding principles of equality for all. I strongly urge the AMP Task Force to rethink the manner in which they seem to be considering club funding. I further urge other club leaders to raise their voices, that we might not be asked to squabble for funding amongst ourselves, but rather devise a just and equitable system that best serves the needs of all. Perhaps not giving $50 awards to 4 randomly selected survey participants might be a start. Is the good of all no longer a motivating interest or strong enough incentive for participation in campus club life?
Christopher Allison 07