When it comes to spending student funds, communication is key

At an SGA meeting on Thursday Sept. 22, it was proposed that $60,000 of the Student Activity Fund go towards renovating the Roost. This money comes from students’ tuition, so in response The Leader suggested sending out a survey to students asking for their opinions on the renovation.

Last semester SGA sent out a mass email inquiring about where the students believe the money should be allocated. As it is a new school year with new students, the Leader requested anoter survey be sent out to see if the student body was still on the same page,

While one question on the survey asked if students support the Roost “possibly getting renovated,” the majority of it was designed with the implication that this is without a doubt where the money will be spent.

The problem with this lies in the fact that $60,000 is a large sum of money with the potential to be used for other projects that improve student life and activity on campus. There are a variety of clubs, organizations, and programs that could benefit from this money.

However, because students were not given the option this year to express where they believe the money should be distributed, there is now no other option except for renovations in the Roost.

It should be noted that the Leader requested to see the previous semester’s survey results and as not admitted access despite SGA’s assurance that they would send the results.

Renovating the Roost is not a bad idea, the space is an integral part of the campus where students come together. However, what SGA should have done was inform students of the excess funds and provide the platform for students to express where they would like to see that money go. While it makes sense that SGA is supposed to make certain decisions for the entire student body, the amount of money in concern is too large not to take students’ input into account.

What SGA must do now is find a way to communicate with students exactly where they feel the money should go. This must be done in a manner that is unbiased, unlike the most recent poll whose questions were created with the general assumption that the entire student body would approve of the money going towards the Roost, and thus leaving out differing opinions.

In the future, SGA must allow for open student opinions and interaction in order to make decisions reflective of the needs and interests of the entire student body and not just a select few.