ASOC Senate Examines Funding System

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Author: Soo Jin Kim

On the Nov. 3 ASOC Senate meeting, the General Assembly (GA) co-chairs Andrew Leede (senior) and Daniel Wolf (first-year), discussed ways to promote collaboration between faculty, administration and the student body for the first GA meeting. Additionally, student representatives to the Board of Trustees presented their projects from the Oct. 25 Board of Trustee committee meetings to the, fulfilling their role as a connection between the Board of Trustees and the student body.

The co-chairs for the GA, who have not yet set a date for their first meeting, identified the recently revised master plan, new housing policy and changing repercussions for negligent student behavior as the major focuses of the upcoming meeting.

They hope to bring in President Veitch, Director of Residence Life and Housing Services Tim Chang and Director for Campus Safety Holly Nieto to address these issues.

Leede and Wolf plan to have Veitch explain to the GA the reasons behind his changes to the master plan, and his vision for Oxy’s future. Chang will hopefully address the increase in forced triples for first-years, the new requirement that students live on campus their first three years and what room draw will look like next semester. Nieto will be asked to address the possible repercussions that students living on or off campus may face due to misconduct. A date will be set for the first GA meeting once the co-chairs are able to find a time for all three speakers to make an appearance.

Student representatives from the Board of Trustees’ Student Life, Honorary Degrees, Institutional Advancement and Academic Affairs committees spoke before the Senate. The role of these students is to bring a student’s perspective to the Board of Trustees.

The Honorary Degrees Committee is “strongly vetting President Obama to come to deliver our commencement speech at graduation,” student representative of the Honorary Degrees committee Max Rowles (senior) said. The committee is also looking for outstanding individuals who fit in well with President Veitch’s plans and initiatives, which include environmental progress, solar energy, public art and more women in sports.

Faced with debt and disorganization in the ASOC’s finances, the Senate is continuing to make significant changes to its policies concerning funding allocation. Senator Aliza Goldsmith (sophomore) presented the beginnings of a new system to allocate funding for Occidental clubs and organization to the ASOC Senate, which would replace the currently used algorithm in the near future.

The Senate is looking to change its funding system after reevaluation of previous funding methods. The senators found their methods of funding to be impersonal and to inappropriately prioritize clubs and organizations wanting funding.

According to Goldsmith, the current algorithm system “allocates money to things that we don’t necessarily value.” Goldsmith said that this year the Senate hopes to fund more off-campus events, which have historically been underfunded. To make this a viable possibility in the future, Goldsmith will work with club treasurers and other ASOC Senators to create a more equitable funding system.

The reformatting of the current system used to allocate ASOC funding will be discussed at the next GA meeting to make sure that students of Oxy, not just the senators, can be involved in revisions to the funding process and policy.

Goldsmith is also looking to other schools similar to Occidental to see how they allocate funding for clubs. To create another algorithm for the ASOC Sentae, Goldsmith plans to work with the Math Department.

Additional reporting by Martha Carol.

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