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To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Brandeis has a culture problem

Club marathon season is over, and the results are in. Out of around 70 chartered clubs, none got the amount of funding requested from the Student Union. For most clubs, the difference in requested versus received amounts was negligible, equivalent to a 5-10%
deduction from the requested amount. But one anomaly to this standard trend stood out starkly: culture clubs.

An argument can very clearly be made that culture clubs are a core representation of what makes Brandeis a cornerstone of cultural development for us. This is a university that boldly states in its Mission and Diversity Statement that it ”strives to reflect the heterogeneity of the United States and of the world community” and ”seeks to build an academic community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds and life experiences,” while believing“… that diverse backgrounds and ideas are crucial to academic excellence.” However, these
words seem to be remaining just that: words. The best way that the Student Allocation Board of the Student Union, acting as extensions of Brandeis, can best display and foster this diverse community that the school so proudly flaunts is by actually adequately funding the culture clubs that exist to fulfill that mission.

Remember that statistic from earlier? How most clubs only saw about a 5-10% deduction of the requested budget? The same cannot be said for culture clubs: every single culture club experienced a MINIMUM 50% slash to their requested money. Were they perhaps asking for such a tremendously absurd amount of financial support that would necessitate such a brutal deduction? No. Having seen the spreadsheet, the amount of requested money is very much in line with what is needed to successfully run these clubs as venues to share minority culture. In order to throw events that engage the greater Brandeis community, these clubs must be able to afford things like performers, food, but also mundane things like utensils and decorations. The budget to host these events was built into the requested funds, and comparing the amount needed to throw events to the amount requested, no culture club seemed to have overstepped their financial position. The decision to have such harsh budget cuts targeting the cultural clubs leaves the clubs in a Catch-22 situation. Without a proper budget, they will have no choice but to offer less events and community outreach, resulting in less attendance and engagement, thus leading to the increased probability of further budget cuts in the coming year.

On this current path, though—Brandeis is facing a cultural crisis of its own making.

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