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Budget Committee Minutes

May 3rd, 2007

  • Location: Sayles Hill 251
  • Time: 9:00 pm
  • Secretary: Signe Swenson

Request 1

The Algol

$

The Algol requested funding for a camera last week but were tabled until this week when they had more options for cameras as their request last week was deemed too expensive. They presented a range of cameras costing $349 to $799. The cheapest camera is not an SLR which is what they are trying to purchase. This camera is an option but without SLR they won’t be able to purchase lenses for it and it wouldn’t be an investment purchase. This is the first piece of equipment they have asked CSA for in 10 years.

With an SLR camera they could potentially purchase a variety of lenses. They also requested funding for a large memory card and CD-RWs for storage of pictures.

Pond stated that she would be more comfortable funding a camera that meets all their needs than one that will need replacing soon. Pond made a bid for $750 for a camera costing $660 and a memory card costing $90. Walker shared his own experience purchasing a camera recently and then made a bid for $440 reflecting the camera costing $350 and a memory card. Kenney voiced his support for Walker’s bid.

Pond stated that they aren’t going to replace the sports photographer but they can photograph the events that they are unable to attend. She also stipulated that her bid require each photographer be trained before using the camera.

The motion was made to call to question. Members voted on the two bids and the $440 bid passed.

Request 2

SOPE

$375

SOPE is putting on Food Truth Week as a series of events to raise consciousness of food and education on campus. A few of the events require food and the other costs are honoraria and transportation costs to a local farm. The events are open to campus and all will be publicized. They are assuming 30 people in attendance at each event throughout the week. The events will discuss organic foods, vegetarianism, bio-fuels and other issues.

Walker made a full bid for $375.

Request 3

$150

Women in Economics

Women in Economics requested funding for their spring term meal with students, faculty and staff. They believe their event is important because they bring all of them together and food is the draw to the event. At the event they discuss classes, comps and future leadership. They upped their costs from last year and are expecting a larger attendance, usually 20 attend the event. The event is open to anyone on campus who is interested in Econ but it is advertised to the email list.

Walker stated that food is not central to the event and made a $0 bid. Bartram stated she is part of Women in Economics and will abstain but this event is important. Pond stated that food is central because the event is important for bringing women together allowing them to network. Shak made a bid of $150. Pond pointed out that this is the only event per term that Women in Economics does each term. Pond stated that she would support a $100 bid and Shak amended his bid to $100.

Members voted and the bid of $0 passed.

Request 4

Project Friendship

$500

They are planning to transport 26 people, elementary students as well as Carleton students to the Como Zoo. The admission is free but they require $350 for the bus company and $150 for food.

Pond stated that she thought $150 was too much to fund food she deemed unnecessary. The representative of the group stated that they will be gone over lunch and they don’t want to discourage kids from attending if they need to pay for their own lunch.

Bartram made a bid of $147 for 4 campus vans to travel to the Como zoo but no food. Neirengarten pointed out that there may not be 4 student drivers and vans may not be available. She then made a bid of $450 covering the bus and $100 for food.

Members voted and the $450 bid passed.

Request 5

Carleton Robotics

$55

Carleton Robotics requested $55 for a barbecue to celebrate successes and recruit members. They received $20 from alt. bev. The event was funded by CSA in the past. Most of the seniors were founding members and they want the team to continue and will be advertising heavily to garner interest in the group.

Pond made a bid of $0 to be consistent. Walker stated that he wouldn’t encourage anyone to vote for the sake of consistency but does not believe that food is central to the event.

The bid of $0 stands.

Request 6

The Sustainability Revolving Fund

$17,500

As quoted from their request:

What is it?

The Sustainability Revolving Fund strives to transition Carleton to a sustainable, climate benign future by funding projects that provide financial returns while reducing the College’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The fund will be administered by an EAC subcommittee, with the EAC-CSA liason and at least one other student member. All projects will come before the CSA before funding is allocated.

Why $17,500?

$40,000 is required to make the fund financially viable, based on analysis of existing funds, such as the Clean Energy Revolving Fund at Macalester. At present, the CSA contribution will be matched by the College. As the EAC has committed $5,000, a contribution of $17,500 from the CSA plus matching funds will bring the fund to the goal of $40,000.

Why is it important?

The establishment of the SRF will provide currently nonexistent funds to allow students to pursue projects that contribute to the goal of sustainability on campus. This joint student-college effort will: reduce environmental impact of the College, free up scarce financial resources for both the College and the CSA, and provide an innovative mechanism to pursue our goals.

Who Benefits?

Many student project ideas remain on the drawing board due to lack of funding. This fund will allow students to implement their projects, both enhancing their education, and allowing students to take ownership of sustainability on campus. The fund will provide a consistent revenue source for the CSA (with the long-term goal of repaying the CSA contribution plus 10%). Furthermore, the cost savings that result from projects will contribute to the long term financial bottom line of the college.

Those presenting the request distributed charters for the fund. The attempt of the fund is to allow projects to be realized when they otherwise could not. It would allow students to make the campus sustainable. Because the CSA stands to contribute a large portion of the funds, they should see a return on the fund. They would receive the return plus 10% interest in the long term.

Bartram asked how they would be able to monitor electricity usage. Based on the best understanding on what that conservation project achieves, the fund would get a return on that. It would be based on estimates. They are basing their model on Harvard’s model which outperforms their endowment so it has the potential to be very successful. CSA would receive 25% on the portion that they contributed per amount saved.

For clarification, a numerical example was put on the board.

Walker asked why the college won’t do it. Whit Jones stated that this is a small project in the scheme of things (the million dollars it takes to build dorms and other structures). They want students to have ownership over the fund. The EAC wants to take on the fund and make it part of their main function. They proposed that they would have their own budget committee within the group to sift through projects and present the best projects to the EAC and CSA. Projects could come from SOPE or MPIRG and other classes for service learning and these could sustain the group in the future. Every year there are 20 ENTS students who go through their capstone projects and this would allow them to implement their proposals.

The two strong proposals now are for composts in select areas on campus and vending misers. The can also revisit old capstones and look at Macalester and Harvard for ideas for projects. They established an account with the business office for the fund and they are going to make the account very visible to students. Bartram pointed out that having a CSA senator on the BC of the EAC would be really helpful.

The motion was made to postpone the request. One member proposed holding another meeting to come to a decision. The motion did not pass.

Bartram stated that it is a great idea and as long as there is student support it will continue well into the future. Members voiced their support to fund this request. A full bid was made by Pond. Walker stated he supports funding the revolving fund but that the school is screwing students out of their money because they know CSA has $30k. A bid of $20,000 was made. The bid was quickly withdrawn.

The full bid of $17,500 stands.