The Fee Allocation Board (FAB), composed entirely with SGA members, is a biased and archaic way of providing funding for student groups. FAB was created to so that student groups would be given funding from an entity totally independent of SGA.
Clearly, that is not happening.
FAB was created in 2011 as the solution to a funding conflict of interest between The Leader and SGA and was intended to be a place where a diverse range of students determined budgets based on student proposals without SGA. Students from any groups could apply and student organizations would make appeals to ask for a specific amount of funding.
This year, each of those students is a member of SGA, which defeats the purpose of FAB. FAB needs to be abolished and replaced with an improved way of allocating student funds.
One proposal has been a media board where student media on campus would receive funding from an entity separate from SGA. The media board would be made up of students, teachers, and a professional who represent the different parts of campus that make up media (English, digital media, etc.). This way, the entities that comment on the campus and SGA are not going to pressed by the bias that these organizations may hold against them.
Beyond just the Leader, FAB is never necessarily fair to any organization. Students on SGA hold biases, and representation in SGA is not equal across campus groups. Throughout the year, SGA has funded certain groups that directly correlate to the majors and interests of the members represented on SGA.
For example, several music majors serve on SGA and approved a request for recognition for the Elmhurst American String Teachers Association chapter even though the group only affects a small amount of students. In another proposal, which was submitted by Pre-Law Club, several SGA members who were also members of Mock Trial, expressed disfavor of the club because they felt it went against their own activity group, Mock Trial.
Both of those groups above were eventually approved by SGA, and we are not saying that they should not have earned recognition or funding—we are simply highlighting this as some examples of bias within SGA that have come up this year. These are just some examples, but if there is bias in SGA, what insurance is there that any of that bias goes away in FAB when there is even less representation? All students have preferences, associations, interests, and friends on campus that, if not carefully balanced, can inform which students receive funding and which do not.
SGA has demonstrated bias throughout the entire year. Whether it is against the press or in favor of only select student groups, the impact is obvious, and there is nothing that suggests it would stop with FAB.
Since FAB has diverted so much from its original vision, the obvious solution is to abolish it and develop a system of student funding with representatives from multiple majors and clubs. Additionally, student media should have a media board or some form of funding totally independent of the school and SGA to avoid an inherent conflict of interest.