By Clara Baker
Tensions were running high at this week’s BelFast meeting. There were a lot of proposals for off-campus trips, a few slightly treacherous deadlines, a couple off-hand comments and not much money left in the off-campus fund. However, I predict next week’s meeting will be even longer, fiercer, and full of sweet debate. Why? Because there are a lot of really great proposals up for off-campus trips (totaling around $14,000) and, at the time of writing, we only have $5,480.44 left for off-campus trips this semester.
What?? We’ve only had one voting BelFast meeting this semester! We’re only three weeks into this semester—where has all our money gone? We started this year with $31,900 (divided in half for each semester) in off campus funds and we have now used almost all of it up. This is good news and bad. There are some really awesome events that have gotten/are getting funding, but Spring is a prime time for more trips, and not all of them can get funded.
Real talk, here is where the money has gone, and here is where it could go:
The off campus trips that have already been approved for this semester include:
-American College Dance Festival= $5,000 for dance intensive at St. Olaf College
-MUN Spring Conference in California= $3,780
-Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale= $1,170 (Spanish Club)
-Associated Writers Conference in Wash., DC= $1,540 (Beloit Fiction Journal)
-Ultimate Frisbee Georgia Spring Break Tournament= $2,750
-Wisconsin Newspaper Association Convention in Appleton, WI= $384.78 (The Round Table)
-Spring Break Sailing Trip in the Florida Keys= $4,279 (Beloit Boating Club)
-Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Conference in California= $4,050(Voces Latinas)
-Habitat for Humanity New York build= $3,350
-“Book Across the Bay” skiing event in Northern Wisconsin= $750 (OEC)
-Midwest Real Food Summit in Chicago = $665 (Slow Food Club)
-Midwest BLGTA College Conference in Michigan= $930 (Alliance)
Students should read more about these proposals online, talk to their BelFast rep and ask questions. Some information to consider: did the club go to other sources for funding? Did they submit the proposal well in advance? Where is this event? Are they paying with any personal contributions? How many students can attend? What will this truly bring back to campus?
I anticipate our next meeting may be long and possibly frustrating for some, but I urge you to come. This is your money. Yes, it is unfortunate that we can’t pass all these proposals, but props to all of the awesome clubs who have organized these well thought out events. We also must not forget how many resources and opportunities we have on campus as well. At the time of writing, it looks as though our on-campus budget is about $14,565 for this semester. So let’s share the wealth, and bring some sweet stuff to Beloit, too.
Belfast meets every Monday at 9 PM in Mathers in Pearsons. Proposals and more info can be found here.