Amendment to Senate Constitution Will Change How Clubs Fundraise
By Benjamin Pontz, Managing News Editor
After weeks of spirited discussion in meetings of the Gettysburg College Student Senate as to whether the body should offset overhead costs of club fundraisers since clubs keep all of the proceeds, Senate voted last evening to amend its constitution by introducing a subsection that would require clubs to reimburse Senate the amount it allots for most fundraisers.
Senate, which, entering last night’s meeting, had appropriated 31% of its approximately $91,000 annual budget for new initiatives, has sought to tighten its funding in recent weeks. Budget requests from organizations including the 26th Pennsylvania College Guard and College Republicans were trimmed at the Budget Management Committee level, and, last week, Senate remanded the entirety of a budget request from the Disciplemakers Christian Fellowship to the BMC for further consideration.
This amendment, which passed handily during a voice vote that required approval from two-thirds of Senators present, received considerable debate and discussion during the meeting. The amendment includes exceptions from Senate reimbursement for fundraisers that benefit external charitable organizations. If a fundraiser that benefits a club does not raise as much money as Senate had appropriated, the club is required to reimburse Senate the full proceeds of the event “as close to the total [amount] initially appropriated as possible.”
Senator Callie Fucarino ’20 opposed the amendment because she believes it discourages club fundraising, which she sees as providing value to the campus community. Nevertheless, she understands why her colleagues supported the amendment and hopes its implementation goes smoothly.
“As I know we must begin saying no to budgets and pinching pennies, I’m hoping there is a way to do this and while still encouraging groups to hold their fundraisers, then use their raised money in their own way,” she said.
Senator Nick Arbaugh ’20, who drafted the amendment and worked with the Senate Policy Committee to bring it to the floor, hailed its passage as an important step in controlling costs and encouraging efficiency in Senate budgeting.
“This amendment was intended to incentivize clubs to host efficient fundraisers and incentivize Senate to allow clubs to fundraise,” he said. “Most importantly though, it was intended to incrementally cut back on fundraising costs in a harmless, mindful way. The passage of my amendment shows that the Senate is willing and ready to reform itself to become the activist body it aspires to be.”
Previously, Arbaugh wrote a column in The Gettysburgian in which he urged Senate to spurn its status as the “financial yes-men of the entire school” and implement budgetary reforms including this one.
Patrick McKenna ’20, Senate Parliamentarian and Chair of the Policy Committee, supported the amendment because it begins to establish ground rules for budget requests.
“I thought the most important part of this amendment is that it starts to codify what Senate will and will not fund,” he said.
In addition to passing this amendment, Senate approved a budget request of $2,963.63 for College Republicans to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next February.
Next week, Senate will consider budget requests from Outerspace, College Democrats, and the Young Americans for Freedom.