Monday, February 8, 2010

Akeya's e-mail, re: Spring Fling/Haiti

Since I'm technically not a Concord student at the moment, I didn't get this e-mail in my inbox. I requested a copy from the SGA President Jeff Yeager and received it. He let me know that so far, there have been around 100 replies.

To give a little background, for those who may have stumbled onto my blog for the first time, here's where this all started -

At the 01-27-10 meeting of the Student Government Association, the Vice President - Akeya Carter-Bozman - brought up the possibility of doing away with Concord's annual "Spring Fling" events and donating the money that would have cost (roughly $10,000) to Haiti relief efforts.

The next week, at the 02-03-10 meeting, Akeya mentioned that she was going to send out an e-mail to the student body with four possible options for what to do with this money. She asked for students to reply with what they want to do, and the winning option would be what course of action to take.

I blogged about both of those meetings. You can see the links below:

01-27-10 Student Government meeting - I give my suggestions for what Concord should do with that $$$ that would go to Spring Fling. I suggest that we get rid of Spring Fling and not give any of it to Haiti.

02-03-10 Student Government meeting - I break the news of Akeya sending out the e-mail. Plus, I take the SGA to task for not having greater transparency on campus. I call the SGA out for not making sure students are made more aware of what they are doing; not only with the Spring Fling/Haiti issue, but with everything.

The e-mail is below, in italics.

* * *

Hello All,

I apologize for the email coming late. During my first attempt at sending it there were a few complications. The options for Spring Fling 2010 are as follows:

(1) No Spring Fling at all, instead split the budget among the following options: Haiti, Relay for Life, and student scholarships

(2) Spend 10,000 on Spring Fling. this includes T-shirts, dance, picnic, actvities in the Valley, etc

(3) Spend 5,400 on dance, t-shirts, big screen movie (w/ wii games, popcorn,and cotton candy). This option includes using the remaining $4,900 towards Haiti , senior gift, and student scholarships

Remember that everyone has a voice, but if you choose not to use yours then you do not have the right to complain. In order for your vote to count you must pick one of the above options. In order to vote please reply to the email, please include the number of the selection you want inside the email. Make sure the subject line reads: Spring Fling Spg. 2010 thank you. Due to the dealy emails will be taken until 2:30 pmn Tuesday Fed 9th.

Thanks,

A. Carter-Bozman

SGA VP '10

Concord University
Student Government Association
(304) 384-6242
(304) 384-5147
sga @ concord.edu

* * *

I don't know if I misheard, but I'm pretty sure it was initially announced that there would be four options in the e-mail. As you can see above, there are only three. I don't know if one was dropped all together, or two were combined, or if I heard three & somehow thought it was four.

Let's take a look at the available options -

(1) No Spring Fling at all, instead split the budget among the following options: Haiti, Relay for Life, and student scholarships


The original option presented at the late-January SGA meeting did not include Relay for Life or student scholarships. I was not in favor of the original option, but I think this one is a better compromise. Relay for Life is a good project, raising cancer awareness. I'm in favor of the student scholarships option, as long as it's not the end-of-the-year SGA scholarships that are given to SGA members, by SGA members. I think it would better serve the campus as a whole if those are somehow able to be given back to the "common student." Something like that scholarship fund that Bill Lewis & the Q-Sack committee talked about over the summer...

(2) Spend 10,000 on Spring Fling. this includes T-shirts, dance, picnic, actvities in the Valley, etc

This option is essentially the "status quo." This is what Concord does every year, with no considerations for any other options. The activities in the valley are usually shitty-looking inflatables. There's usually a jousting thing, and one of those deals where you strap a bungy cord to yourself and race a friend, and some sort of obstacle course deal. I scraped my elbow really bad on the obstacle course inflatable my freshman year. It got infected. Gross.

The problem is, the last year I enjoyed the inflatables was when I was a freshman. When I was 18 years old, and acted a lot younger. They haven't been a popular attraction over the years. I doubt this year would be any different.

The picnic isn't much. It's a bunch of people sitting around "the valley," eating hot dogs and hamburgers while a computer hooked up to a speaker blares out some music. I brought up the suggestion last year in my old blog of possibly allowing alcohol at the picnic. If we have a picnic this year, I'll come back to that suggestion at a later date.

(3) Spend 5,400 on dance, t-shirts, big screen movie (w/ wii games, popcorn,and cotton candy). This option includes using the remaining $4,900 towards Haiti , senior gift, and student scholarships

This option is closer to what I suggested in my "01-27-10" blog I linked earlier. In that one, I suggested that we keep the best parts from the Spring Fling (the t-shirts, and maybe a dance) and add the money left over to the end-of-the-year "senior gift." Given enough money at the end of the year, I even said we could give some to Haiti. Student scholarships was one idea I suggested using the money on.

This option leaves less money than I estimated. At the 01-27 meeting, it was speculated that only $2000 or so would be necessary for the dance & t-shirts. So, that throws off the $$$ figures I mentioned.

* * *

Which option should we choose? I will say, 100 percent, do not pick option two. The status quo of Spring Fling was horrible.

It depends on whether you want a dance and t-shirts or not. For option 3, I'd suggest getting rid of the movie. In theory, the movie is supposed to be shown outside on a big screen, but it usually rains and it has to be shown in the gym. Last year, nobody showed up to the gym. Zero. Not a single person. Rick Dillon and Marshall Campbell sat there by themselves.

I'd replace the movie with the picnic in the valley. Then, you could have a Haiti donation thing set up if that's the route you want to go. Get some canned goods or clothes or what-have-you.

Without giving it a huge amount of thought, without breaking it down & asking more questions (how much $$ goes to Haiti, how much to scholarships, etc...), it looks like 3 is the best option. It seems like more of a compromise than the other 2.

You have until Tuesday to vote. If you're a student at Concord, it is definitely in your best interest to let Akeya and the SGA know what you want to do with your money. If you have an opinion on this, voice it. If you'd like to anonymously leave your choice in the comments section of this blog, you can do that as well.

As an aside, I was mentioning this Spring Fling/Haiti situation to Kelly the other day. She's also taking a semester off from school and - unlike me - is actually taking a break from keeping up with Concord-related matters. I told her about the transparency issues as well. She suggested a pretty simple idea - set up a table in the bottom floor of the student center or in front of the cafeteria & have pamphlets and people talking about the 3 options. She also liked my Facebook group idea I mentioned in the "02-03-10" blog.

But, she's my roommate, so she may have just been humoring me...

* * *

That's all for me. I'll put my usual disclaimer here - I import these blogs into Facebook. One of the options of doing so is the ability to "tag people," which sends them an e-mail alert about this blog. I tag people for two reasons - if I mention you by name or if I think you'll find this blog interesting. If you don't want to be tagged, let me know & I won't tag you in future blogs. If you'd like to be tagged, let me know & I'll start doing so.

2 comments:

  1. The options still do not articulate how the money will be donated. I'd find it hard to vote without knowing that.

    Which organization gets it? More than one? Direct donation? Supplies donation? Service trips?

    And, I echo the questions on student scholarships that Chris mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jesse,
    Are you a student here? Let us make our own mistakes

    ReplyDelete