Dear Presidents and Treasurers,
In the previous open letter I sent out, I talked about the importance of greater accountability and transparency in the Student Union’s finance processes, and listed several projects Student Union Finance will be working on over the academic year.
Since then, Student Union has taken a closer look at what we do on campus and the role we play in our undergraduate community, especially given what has happened in the last two weeks. It is timely that we thoroughly review the means and processes by which we pursue two of our most important purposes on this campus: to represent and advance students’ interests through advocacy; to empower students through allocation of the student activities fee.
To this end, Student Union has decided to form a total of four task forces, which will consist of not only SU officers, but also students outside of Student Union. We hope that you would consider joining one of the task forces and provide us with a valuable perspective on how we can better serve student groups and the student body. We will talk about each task force below and provide you with the link to sign up.
The first task force will be focused on reviewing Student Union Senate and the role it plays in advocating students’ interests. If you have some interesting ideas or would like to have a say in how we can change some of our processes or restructure Student Union Senate to improve our overall advocacy efforts, we would love to have you on the Senate Advocacy Task Force. Our VP of Admin, Mike Holtz, will be chairing this committee.
I will be chairing the remaining three task forces, which will be focused on three critical areas of Student Union Finance.
The Budget Allocation Task Force will conduct a complete review of the budget allocation process and manual to determine how we can better improve the three objectives we have in Budget Committee: consistency in the level of funding for each student group from semester to semester; fairness in the allocation across all 300 student groups on campus; and most importantly, transparency in the way we make our decisions on how much to fund each student group.
The Sports Club Task Force will review the funding structure for all sports clubs on campus. Currently, sports clubs undergo a separate allocation process from all other student groups on campus and find it more difficult to receive funding. This task force will look at how we can merge the allocation process for sports clubs and all other student groups on campus, so as to ensure that sports clubs receive greater accountability and access to Student Union funds.
Finally, the Activities Committee Task Force will look at the criteria Student Union have for recognizing new student groups, approving category change applications, and deregistering defunct student groups. We will focus on how the criteria affects the long term composition of student groups on campus. More specifically, we want to ensure that the criteria allow us to minimize duplicate student groups while catering to the wide range of interests our students have.
In terms of commitment, each task force will meet for an hour every week. We plan to have a total of 6 meetings per task force. The task forces will meet until early February next semester. The exact meeting dates and times are available on the signup form.
If you are interested in signing up for one of the four task forces, please fill out this form by Tuesday Nov 24th, midnight. The task forces are open for all students, so please feel free to forward this email to anyone whom you know would be interested!
Thank you very much for your attention!
Kenneth Sng / VP of Finance
finance @su.wustl.edu / 314-800-3841
WashU Student Union