This week’s MCSG meeting began with a discussion regarding Climbing Club’s increasing budget and MCSG’s plan to fund it.
Members of the Climbing Club ride in vans to Vertical Endeavors Rock Climbing every Tuesday and Wednesday, and students are free to use the facility from 6-9 p.m. Since its founding in the fall semester, the club has grown exponentially. It now has between 75 and 90 climbers per week, significantly increasing its need for funding.
Climbing Club’s need was a major topic of discussion at the Financial Affairs Committee’s (FAC) recent Budget Bonanza session, led by FAC Chair Chris Pieper ’18. “What we decided to do at Budget Bonanza was just cap the amount of people they can take at 60 people,” Pieper said. “They wanted to ask for 90 people because they wanted to avoid turning people away, but we felt that the line had to be drawn somewhere.”
The Climbing Club’s original request was for $25,920 to fund the climbing endeavors of 90 students each week, while the FAC recommended that the club get $17,280 at the Budget Bonanza session. Climbing Club recently appealed their request to the Legislative Body (LB).
The FAC also discussed the possibility of subsidizing three-fourths of 90 tickets, so that students only pay $3 for a ticket as opposed to the current $12 price.
“I think asking people to pay three dollars if we want this to be expanded is totally reasonable,” MCSG vice president Ariana Hones ’18 said.
Climbing Club co-president Mikayla Brunner ’21 discussed the impact of the decrease of funding on their membership.
“It would not allow new people to come, because it would probably be a first-come, first-serve kind of thing. We’re already doing 75-80 people and it just keeps growing,” Brunner said. “Capping the amount really wouldn’t be a solution and I think going for 90 people would be a lot more reasonable.”
Brunner mentioned that there is the possibility of obtaining season passes from Vertical Endeavors, which may decrease the overall expense to the club.
“We may be open to the idea of partially subsidizing 90 tickets, depending on the price that students would still have to pay,” Brunner said.
The LB decided to wait to vote on Climbing Club’s budget for one more week to allow for more time for the club to explore its various options.
Next, Student Services & Relations Committee (SSRC) member Fabian Bean ’18 presented a bill that would change Macalester’s New York Times subscription from print to an online version that would be available to all students.
“Our experiment found that 35.4 papers a day were being recycled, never having been read. That’s 2,500 or more [newspapers] a semester, which is an incredible amount of paper to waste,” Bean said.
The LB passed the bill unanimously. This prompted questions from the LB regarding when the subscription change would be made.
“We will hopefully make the online shift at the lastest at the beginning of the 2018-2019 semester,” President Suveer Daswani ’18 said.
Next, MCSG heard Bean’s presentation of a second bill – which would repeal the Automatic Rollover Bill and give MCSG the agency to designate its end-of-year budget rollover to a specific program or project that would meet an unbudgeted need on campus. Currently, rollover funds are used to replenish the $20,000 reserve fund and then divided among organizations and programs such as Program Board according to percentages listed in the MCSG Financial Code. The FAC has an opportunity to review those percentages in December during their Financial Code Review.
“Instead of automatically distributing the rollover, we would have a large vote at the end of the year to either redistribute per usual as within the LB at the end of the year, or we could allocate the rollover funds to a specific program or project on campus,” Bean said.
“I feel like MCSG is a student organization and we should be held at the same standard as other orgs and I feel like this gives us leeway to create something that hasn’t been budgeted for before,” MCSG president Suveer Daswani ’18 said.
Daswani recommended that the LB make a budget request through additional allocations if it appears that there is an unbudgeted need on campus the following year. The LB decided to table the bill until next week.
The meeting ended with a reminder from Associate Dean of Students Andrew Wells that the college is hosting several events for Sexual Violence Prevention month. Campus-wide activities will include the donation drive for women’s advocates, trauma-sensitive yoga and a community walk and survivor speakout.