Written By Christian Cozlov
Opinions Contributor (NOT a staff writer)
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) recently implemented new rule changes to how clubs get funding.
The new rules, brought by Nadav Raz, were enacted as a reaction against the club funding of the Brooklyn College chapter of Turning Point USA (TPUSA) last semester, in which the USG funding council approved $1,500 to co-sponsor TPUSA’s speaker, Joy Villa. While the event never happened because of TPUSA’s staff deciding to cancel the event, and with the $1,500 currently in the process of being returned, the USG administration carelessly implemented these rule changes that did not take into account how it affects new and small clubs on campus.
Vanguard reported on this a while ago; I’ll be quoting the article as I go.
“The first of these requires clubs to provide accurate attendance records of past events in order to receive a grant for an upcoming event. In conjunction with this, clubs must provide evidence of an attempt at marketing the event to all of, or as much of the Brooklyn College student body as possible.”
Let’s use basic logic here.
In other words, if you’re a small club still trying to grow (I believe there’s an exception for new clubs, if I’m not mistaken), it’s harder for you than a big club that’s been here for years who have many followers and who are very well known in the media and the community. Reputation and an already established history of networking gives old big clubs an advantage.
“In conjunction with this, clubs must provide evidence of an attempt at marketing the event to all of, or as much of the Brooklyn College student body as possible.”
This seems fair in theory, but what sort of evidence is possible and sufficient to obtain is left up to question and, quite frankly, impractical. But as a matter of argument of who is advantaged and disadvantaged, let’s say this is even between the small/new and the big/old clubs.
“The other two rules work to cut down on club spending. One of the new rules puts a cap on how much a club can receive for items which only benefit specific club members such as the e-board. Whether it is excessive spending on custom hoodies or thousands of dollars on medical instruments which only sees the hands of a few students, this rule hopes to curb spending which doesn’t attempt to help the student body at large.”
Whoever wrote this rule doesn’t even understand how club growth works. “Doesn’t attempt to help the student body at large” is a baseless opinion. This spending is an INVESTMENT to grow the club. Hoodies and other custom clothing are oftentimes have the use of being a walking advertisement and being visual representations of that club and helps bring awareness that that club exists for those interested. Curbing spending that would help small clubs grow, even for matters of promotions, leaves small clubs at another in the dust.
“The fourth rule should not be much of a concern for smaller or newer clubs, but hopes to create a more regimented process for allocating grants in addition to a club’s semesterly budget. The rule requires that clubs exhaust their initial budget before being able to request a grant from the Funding Council. This change will allow for a more straightforward allocation approach that does not leave too much room for clubs to receive access funding.*”
The first sentence here already gives it away that, in GENERAL, this is implying that these rule changes do concern smaller or newer clubs. New clubs only get $250 while old clubs already start out with way more funding for the semester, so already the older clubs are at an advantage. They then have to exhaust their semester budget before they have to deal with this garbage.
$200,000 is just sitting in our club activities budget doing nothing at all. The USG government decided to launch an attack on small and new clubs while keeping big clubs privileged.
Christian Cozlov is the president of Brooklyn College’s chapter of Turning Point USA.