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Campus Council funds Spring Break trips

Three campus organizations receive funding this year, WOODS denied

Coral Ciupak
Viewpoints Editor

At a recent session, the College’s Campus Council (CC) made several decisions regarding funding allocations to student organizations seeking sponsorship of Spring Break trips. Among these decisions were those to fund the Wooster chapter of Newman Catholic Student Association’s (NCSA) service project in Louisiana and the men’s and women’s ultimate Frisbee teams scrimmage at Myrtle Beach. CC also unanimously denied a request from WOODS to fund their trip.

Up until last year, student organizations made funding requests to the College’s budget committee. During the allocations process of the 2015-2016 academic year, however, the budget committee decided not to fund Spring Break trips because the trips, the details of which were often subject to change, occurred a significant time past the scheduled allocation processes. To compensate for this decision, CC voted to create an appeals process for student organizations that requested funding for Spring Break trips but had not received it.

The appeals process for this upcoming Spring Break took place at CC’s most recent session prior to Thanksgiving Break. The College’s ultimate Frisbee teams, NSCA and WOODS presented their respective appeals at this time.

According to representatives, CC makes its decisions based on a few factors. “We look for how well the activity provides back to the campus community, if it is available to everyone, how critical it is for the group’s continued existence, what sort of risk exists and how the group mitigates that risk, and whether advisors would be present,” said At-Large Council member Jordan Griffith ’19.

Despite its recent decisions, CC wishes to make known that these are not official criteria. CC has expressed intent to clarify its expectations for the appeals process make them more readily available to student organizations, though the decisions on request for this upcoming Spring Break will remain in effect.

“We do not have, per se, set guidelines for features sufficient/necessary to secure funding for a trip spanning Spring Break,” said Council Chair Jack Johanning ’17. “We are creating firmer (in the sense of less ambiguous) guidelines this year for the allocations process and for chartered organizations to adhere to. This should provide better instruction for future Councils on how to assess funding requests.”

Among the more decisive of its votes is the unanimous denial of WOODS’ request for Spring Break funding. Griffith asserted that CC’s vote was due to the group’s shortcomings in risk management. “WOODS was unanimously denied funding due to the group’s lack of preparedness when the representative was questioned on risk-mitigation training and procedures that the group should have in place in light of the past incidents that have happened on previous Spring Break trips,” said Griffith.

NCSA’s service trip to Louisiana, however, was unanimously approved.

“[W]e determined that the group was paying for enough of its trip and that the trip itself would provide an experience for the members that would greatly enhance the mission of the organization,” said Griffith.
However, due to lack of student registration, NCSA did not reach the minimum number of students they were required to bring on the trip. They have since cancelled their trip and will not be using the funds from
CC.
While these decisions went unopposed among CC’s members, the ultimate decision to approve the College’s Frisbee trip was hotly contested by a 7-5 vote.
“There were concerns about the amount of alcohol consumption that occurs in the context of the groups,
as well as the perception that would be generated by Council funding a Spring Break trip to Myrtle Beach
so groups could play Frisbee,” said Griffith. “The lack of an advisor for the groups also presented a concern,
but the advocate for the women’s Frisbee team articulated the difficulties with getting an advisor for that
event quite well.”
As treasurer for Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, as well as a member of CC, Heather Smith ’17 abstained from
voting on the group’s request and expressed her satisfaction with CC’s vote of approval. “This trip is integral for the teams’ spring seasons,” said Smith. “It is our first time playing outside before we attend the championship series […] It also serves to get Wooster’s name out there. Last year we played against Princeton’s team and they knew who we were.”
Though these decisions may be contested by students, staff and faculty, CC defends the finality and reasoning of its decisions. “The purpose of pluralistic governance is for our processes to reflect the majority opinion of the constituent parts,” said Johanning. “Presently this criteria fits what our current bodies sees as the purpose of the student activity fee. However, this is not a rigid guideline for future sessions of Campus Council.”

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