EDITORIAL: Retire the unfabulous FAB

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.

EDITORIAL: Student Government Association (SGA) should revisit legislator meetings

The last of SGA’s monthly legislature meetings is this Thursday, wrapping up the year with cookies and sandwiches provided.

At the end of the spring 2018 term, SGA ratified a new constitution. Part of that constitution introduced legislator meetings, which are monthly meetings that a representative or legislator from every student organization on campus must attend, or have their funding/ability to apply to Co-Op cut.

SGA has long been struggling to connect with its constituents with the lack of attendance from the student body in SGA meetings. The legislator meetings have been the first time people who are not a part of SGA are consistently coming to meetings.

However, these meetings are a failed attempt at a great idea. Crowded, unproductive meetings are not the way to bring campus organizations together, and certainly not worth cutting funding over.

There is no need to call for abolition, but there is a need for drastic reform.

Why does every single organization come to one meeting rather than dividing groups up throughout the month? Why is SGA not being more proactive in sponsoring and attending other groups events, but threatening to defund organizations who do not obey?

The meetings have been about things such as how to order food from Chartwells, how to reserve a space, and how to apply for Cooperative Funding (Co-Op). This may be great for new organizations who may not be familiar with the existing processes, but certainly not necessary for everyone.

This year, organizations, including SGA, faced extreme cuts to their budget, and unfunded organizations are facing harsher Co-Op guidelines than they have in the recent past. Is additional pressure really the best SGA can do to better our campus?

SGA is using strong arm politics to blackmail people into attending something they simply do not care about. We get it. Student apathy has been one of the biggest issues on this campus since forever, and there has not really been an effective solution for it. But bad politics is bad politics, and this method is simply not working nor does it promote unity.

Disorganization is the enemy of all student organizations. Whether it is within the organization, whether it is conflicting programming with other groups, or even just poor marketing. However, it is not impossible to beat.

Just last week, every Greek organization worked together with Student Affairs to organize one cohesive week of programming. The cultural identity groups have been doing the same through the Coalition of Multicultural Engagement.

There are models on this campus of what true unity among organizations can look like, and none of them involve threats of cutting budgets. Not only does SGA have examples to learn from, they also have the resources to do better. What they do not have is an excuse for wasting our time thus far, and that needs to be changed.