By Nick Mischler
First, allow me to thank the author of last week’s response to my article on BelFast running out of funds. My intention was to invoke discussion and I am glad to see it has— especially from someone who has participated in BelFast and believes in the representatives who attend. I, as an outsider, only have a few facts and the observations of others to base my opinion upon; thus, even I was unsure of my opinion’s soundness. Regardless, I believe the suggestions I outlined remain constant regardless of my perception; however, allow me to clarify some of them as I believe they my have prompted some confusion.
I had proposed a system of keeping track of spending on a weekly basis by dividing the yearly budget by the number of weeks in the academic year. This suggested as a reference, not a constraint. In my previous article, I attempted to convey that fact, but it ended up being a little too ambiguous. The intent of providing this weekly update is to place the budget into perspective relative to a rate of average spending. It is my hope that the body of representatives would use this reference to collectively adjust their spending without formally constraining them in any way.
In my suggestions for club leaders and representatives, I had mentioned that various clubs I joined at the beginning of the year, in order to fill their BSC and BelFast positions, said that “you can do your homework” while at either position. The argument here was not that representatives were doing their homework, but rather that clubs use that as an appeal to otherwise ignorant first-years who may interpret such appeals to mean that these roles are of little importance relative the remainder of the positions in the club.
As for the hypothetical Italian Club, their proposal to have a social trip was intended to be an exceptional example in order to emphasize the need for proposals to have some kind of educational benefit. I will admit it might not have been the best of examples; however, I believe we can all agree that if proposals had a greater emphasis on educational or campus-wide benefit, there would be fewer superfluous proposals brought before BelFast.
The goal of my previous article was to promote BelFast’s importance to clubs, their representatives, and to those making proposals. I believe these suggestions still hold validity regardless of the action or outcome of this year’s BelFast. As the author who responded to my previous article suggested, I intend to familiarize myself more with BelFast in the coming year and hope that many more of the student body takes a greater interest in its operation. It’s your money; make sure its in capable hands.