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Budget Committee Minutes

April 12th, 2012

  • Location: Sayles 251
  • Time: 9:00 pm
  • Present: Vice President Dara, Treasurer Buss, Senators Nordgaard and Weinstein, and Members Choi*, Comstock-Gay*, Heckman, Kim, Schachter*, Strand, and Wong *Non-voting members. This status will remain in place throughout the duration of the term.
  • Absent: Senator Hillis and Member Suzuki
  • Guests: Advisor Sunderland, David Tullis, Sebastian Bouknight, Christian Olivares, Tenzin Lendey, Becca Greestein, Henry Edelstein
  • Secretary: Edward Malnar

The meeting was called to order at 9:05.  Introductions were made for the newly appointed members of Budget Committee.

Drum Collective

Amount Requested: $400

Amount Recommended: 400

LASO- Carnaval

Amount Requested: $865

Amount Recommended: $665

LASO- ¡Vive!

Amount Requested: $475

Amount Recommended: tabled

Team Tibet

Amount Requested: $977

Amount Recommended: tabled

ASL

Amount Requested: $160

Amount Recommended: $160*

ETB

Amount Requested: $1,383

Amount Recommended: 1250

The DL

Amount Requested: $110

Amount Recommended: 60

Drum Collective

The Drum Collective is requesting funds to buy replacement heads, a new hardware bag, and replacement pegs for the bass drum. The heads were replaced last spring with CSA funding, and after a year of heavy use, they need to be replaced. We are also asking for money for resonant heads which while not quite ready to be replaced, but might need to be before the end of the term. The heads are all Evans  brand, ordered from Guitar Center, and will have free shipping. The hardware bag would be ordered from a another site. We are also asking for funding for a snare drum case, as the current one is very old, near breaking, and is only made of thin cloth.
All told, we would like to order 5 batter heads, 4 resonant heads, a snare drum case, and a hardware bag. In total these will add up to $400, including shipping and tax.  Some will go immediately into use while the rest will be backups for when we need them.

All materials will be stored in the Cave with the rest of the set. The heads will be put on the drums upon arrival, and the cases will contain drums and hardware as well.  The funds will go towards routine maintenance for the drum set, which will allow students to play on a quality instrument for Battle of the Bands, Spring Concert, numerous Cave shows, as well as other gigs in town. Without funding (and replacement heads!) the set will soon become broken due to extremely heavy use and frequent transportation.  This will be a frequent need because many of the students use them improperly and the rigorous use means they do not have a long lifespan.

Deliberations

Wst: “This is what Cap Reserves should actually be used for.”  I think this is something that sounds needed, so we should fund it. 

Full bid: $400

Nordgaard: I’d like to suggest going without the bags at the current time and waiting for Spring Allocations.

Kim: I think that we should do it now to protect the things we do buy.  Because they need proper protection for transporting the drums and equipment, “spending money now will save us money later.”

Wong: “I think it’s a good investment to keep them intact.  It’s our responsibility to make sure they don’t get mistreated.”

Senator Weinstein motioned to move to the next item.  All but Senator Nordgaard voted in favor.

The motion passed, $400 is Budget Committee’s recommendation to Senate.

Latin American Student Organization: Carnaval

NB: LASO presented two requests and discussion was ongoing for both during the time that LASO representatives were present.  For the sake of clarity I have attempted to separate the arguments.

Carnaval is an event held in the spring that promotes an exciting presentation of traditional and modern Latin American music. We have worked with this DJ before and he is excellent in preparing and presenting a great range of diverse music that will represent many aspects of the culture.  He also will bring his own equipment as part of a reasonable cost for his services.  The festival is meant to commemorate one of Brazil’s most famous holidays.  The money is also going toward piñatas, which provide an excellent opportunity for students to get involved and mask making, an important tradition of the crazy costumes and bright decorations in a grand parade.

We have contacted Spanish, SOAN, and American/ Central American Studies Departments for funding to help with these events.

Vice President confirmed that following problems last year, stronger ropes will be used to secure the piñatas, although they will still be hung on trees around the Bald Spot.  Senator Weinstein is told that the cost of piñatas is high so that sterner, quality piñatas can be provided.  “It wouldn’t be much good to have children’s piñatas for college students… they’d be broken in one good hit.”

Member Wong is told that the piñatas are meant as a way to draw in students while the mask-making captures the cultural value and tradition of the event.  Although both are important and distinct in their function, the masks are probably the higher priority.

Member Wong motioned to move to deliberations.

Deliberations

Nordgaard: I think we have music equipment and I’m sure students have music they’d be willing to play.  I think this can still be a good event at a much lower cost.

Sunderland: No, sound equipment for this purpose will have to be rented.  The Student Activities Office has small speakers that are meant for helping speakers project, but they can easily be blown out by loud music.  In fact, this has been a frequent problem because most people do not know their limits or how to use them properly.  “We don’t have the space or manpower to keep lights and speakers on campus” that would be sufficient for a dance event.

Buss: “I’m uncomfortable with the fact we’re dealing with two things at once.”  The candy and piñatas are to be purchased separately, but were included in the same amount.  “We need to have a more specific breakdown.”  I’m also not entirely for the mask-making supplies, although in a way “the experience of making a mask is a learning opportunity.”  I’m very uncertain about this event.

Wong: “I feel uncomfortable funding both the piñatas and the masks,” so I think we can work a compromise.  If we could have students decorate their own paper-mâché piñatas, we could have the experience of mask-making and still have piñatas to swing at.

Nordgaard: “There’s got to be a better way to make the piñatas last longer;” I think we can do that for much less than the request.  Since they’re not a very important part of the cultural aspect of the event, I don’t want to put very much toward it.  Also, I think it would be good for a student to do the music in having them involved, at least, “it’s got to be more cost effective to do it” with what’s on campus rather than bringing someone in.

Bid: $250

Wong: “I thinkg $500 for a DJ would be very reasonable,” as those costs go.  In the past, we have cut them down from live bands to DJs; that was an original compromise and given that other groups will incur larger costs in this area, I think we can justify that spending.

Bid: $665

Buss: “Chris’ reasoning make sense.”  I’d like to give 65$ on top of that for decorations, though “I do not think that we should fund masks and piñata candy because it’s basically personal property.”

Partial: $565

Treasurer Buss motioned to call to question; the motion passed.

The votes per bid:

For $250: Senator Nordgaard

For $665: Senator Weinstein and Members Kim, Strand and Wong

The motion passed, $665 is Budget Committee’s recommendation to Senate.

Latin American Student Organization: ¡Vive!

Vive is an annual event that celebrates Latino culture through performances, skits, food and presentations.  Students will be learning to make tamales and involve them in preparing the food.  The ingredients are rather costly, so we aim only to have enough for each participant to get a taste of the food, perhaps one tamale per person.  That ratio and past attendance were used to determine the expected cost, $450.

We will offer dance lessons to help expose them to an important aspect of Latino culture and encourage them to attend our event in the fall.  We can usually fill the Great Hall with these events.  We think this event is a great way to bring together the Latino community, both on campus and in Northfield, to host some events that can reinforce our culture and share it with others.

Deliberations

Buss: We’re still not sure about what food is supposed to be purchased.  “$450 is extremely vague to me.”  Since we have only the totals, “I would be uncomfortable passing through a bid without having those numbers [of exact breakdown] in front of me.”

Strand: They spoke against combining the events, but I just want to keep the idea out there.

Wong: This is a food-focused event and we simply don’t know what money is being requested for what.  They didn’t even seem to have a plan of how much to get.

Motion to table

The motion passed; the request is tabled and will be resumed later.

Team Tibet

The event will feature a talk by journalist Tim Johnson about his book Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China. The book is his account of the cat and mouse game embroiling China and the Tibetan exile community over Tibet. Johnson reports from the front lines, trekking to nomad resettlements to speak with the people who guard Tibet's slowly vanishing culture; and he travels alongside the Dalai Lama in the campaigns for Tibetan sovereignty. Johnson unpacks how China is using its economic power around the globe to assail the Free Tibet movement and will discuss the recent self-immolations. By encouraging massive Chinese migration and restricting Tibetan civil rights, the Chinese are also working to dilute Tibetan culture within the country itself. He also takes a sympathetic but unsentimental look at the Dalai Lama, a tragic figure in the West who is regarded as a failure to his own people. His book tells the story of the country at the precipice of the world, on the brink of cultural annihilation.

Deliberations

Kim: I’m unsure about this.  It’s only a two-hour event with a nearly $1,000 cost.

Buss: “I want to call BC’s attention to the fact the cost per person is $20,” and we don’t know about St. Olaf yet.

Wst: I want St. Olaf to be funding this if they’re supposed to be attending.  It’s not fair for us to fund an event and have them show up to enjoy our funded event.  “I don’t feel comfortable spending the Carleton student activity fee on that.”  I suggest getting funding from St. Olaf, ideally a 50-50 split, but realistically, that’s not going to happen.

Heckman: “It’s two hours for almost $1000.”  We don’t really have the money for it; “I hate to be the person to say things can’t happen,” but this does not sound like a smart allocation of funding.

$0 bid

Wong: I really want to see what St. Olaf will offer to put on this event if they know it won’t happen without their support.

Motion to table

Being of higher rank, the motion to table was considered first.  It passed, with only Senator Nordgaard and Member Heckman voting against.

The request is tabled and will be resumed later.

American Sign Language Club

Last term CSA requested that ASL club only request funding for students who absolutely need financial aid. We have fulfilled that request. The two students specifically requested financial aid, stating that they would be unable to take the class otherwise. They have both agreed that they can contribute $50.
It is very important that these students are able to attend the classes. If they drop out of the class, there will no longer be enough people to have a class. This financial aid would then effectively allow 6 students to take the class this term.  We also share this experience with the community and serving the deaf.  For such purposes we work closely with ACT.

Deliberations

Dara: “They have a professional instructor to come from Lakeville.  The amount this instructor is asking for is considered rather high.”  I’d like to point out that we cannot hire professional instructors for every small group, but group did follow our directions.

Wst: “They did do what we asked, and it would destroy them if we didn’t fund them.”  But we do need to ask if it is a good use of the student activity fee.  I think there can still be a good opportunity to learn ASL without sucking up the CSA funds, but this group needs the money right now.

Full bid, $160

Schachter: I don’t think it’s fair to do this.  We can’t hire professional training and instruction for other groups.  It would get very expensive very quickly and it would become a mess to try to fund some but not all such requests.

Kim: “It doesn’t seem like a good way to spend the money.”  I don’t know how much they can really give back to the community and suggest other ways of learning the language.

$0 bid

Buss: I agree with Matt’s reasoning, but we need to add stipulation that we cannot fund professional instruction because we cannot do it for every group.  Senator Weinstein consented.

Strand: Learning just through a video is an option, but “this is different because these students are actually provided an interaction that you wouldn’t have other wise.”  I think it can be treated differently other than clubs.

Senator Weinstein moved to call to question.

For $160: Treasurer Buss, Senator Wst, and Members Heckman and Strand

The motion passed, $160 is Budget Committee’s recommendation to Senate.
*The stipulation is added for future reference that Budget Committee is disinclined to fund professional instruction.

Experimental Theater Board

We have three full-length shows and a collection of student-written one acts (fourth weekend) going up this term. Fifth weekend is The Goat by Edward Albee, directed by Daisuke Kawachi. The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, by Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, will be performed sixth weekend, and The Waltz Invention, by Vladimir Nabokov and directed by Camille Hommeyer is going up ninth weekend.  

The script costs are for rights and printing, while honoraria are to purchase the right to perform them legally.  This is why the student-written and led one-acts are much less expensive than the published ones.  We also are asking money for the posters because they are student made and will be displayed around the Weitz Center and elsewhere on campus. 

Deliberations

Nordgaard: They said it’s hard to know exactly how much things will cost, so perhaps we can give them less now, maybe $1,000.

Wst: “As far as things we fund go, ETB is more important than any of them because of a considerable amount of student agency” and effort put into keeping theater alive at Carleton. “If we start cutting back tremendously, we need to keep this” because as the only student-run drama organization “nothing else can replace it.”

Full bid: $1,383

Heckman: As a long-time part of this group, I know that each term “I sell my body” to make sure these plays happen.  As “we do not get paid, it really is a learning experience” that is essential to the performing arts at Carleton.

Wong: Perhaps we could go with Travis’ request and have the group do fundraisers to cover the difference because it isn’t too much.

Wst: You have no idea how much effort these students put in.  “It’s unfair to ask people to perform for free and ask them to fund their own performance.”

Nord: I really like the ETB, but “can we trim a little bit?”  “We’re in an emergency situation and we need to cut corners and make some effort” to reduce costs.

Bid: $1250

Buss: “It’s a lot of shows per term,” and with these one acts, there are a total of six different shows this term.  “I’d like to cut it down to the one acts because they are completely done by students,” with $400 for your choice of another show, minus the money for costumes.

$490

Senator Weinstein motioned to call to question; the motion passed.

For $1,383: Senator Weinstein and Member Heckman

For $1,250: all others.

The motion passed, $1,250 is Budget Committee’s recommendation to Senate.

The DL

Funds to print 100 copies of our second issue of the DL, Carleton's sports magazine.  The magazine was started last term and is currently the only outlet for students to write creatively about sports.  Other publications include sports news in a journalistic style, but we want to offer something fresh and involved.  We released 50 copies in Sayles that were gone within a day.  At the end of last term, we ended up $40 under budget.  We seem to have strong enough interest in readership that we’d like to continue this, although currently we only have two writers.

Deliberations

Wong: They seem have lot of articles for each issue, but I’m still considering syndication with other publications to reduce costs.

Heckman: “I don’t know if we can afford to fund another publication.”

Buss: “I agree, but… it is definitely doing something completely new.”  We gave them a test last time and I think it went well; “I read it, it was good.”   “This is something I’d like to see continue … and there is demand for it.”

Full bid: $110

Nordgaard:  Now is not the time to be increasing a new publication.  But I think we could fund them to publish the same amount as last issue and if it continues to go well, they ask for more next year.

Bid: $60

Wst: Something we should consider for the future is a “Carleton Variety Magazine” for small publications that are shitty.  (To presenter: “Sorry, I don’t mean to say anything about your publication; I haven’t read it.”  “I just don’t care about this [publication], is the problem.”)  It would  include the Manuscript, the Graphic, and the DL bundled together, “but not the Clap.  The Clap is holy.”

Member Heckman motioned to call to question.

For $110: Treasurer Buss and Member Kim

For $60: All others

The motion passed, $60 is Budget Committee’s recommendation to Senate.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:37PM.