Editorial: WCSC’s retreat funding is fiscally irresponsible

In its second year after enacting a hefty fee referendum, the Warren College Student Council has the luxury of hindsight. But last year’s overspending has produced an overzealous reaction, leading to a dramatic increase in the amount the council has set aside to spend on itself this year.

This past month, WCSC allocated $5,000 internally. In its internal budget, the council has given itself $3,500 for retreat funding, totaling almost 5 percent of its total budget. The retreat itself is an off-site, weekend-long luxury for councilmembers. The Muir College Council set aside only $1700 for its one-day retreat and leadership conferences. The disparity is painfully obvious.

The better-safe-than-sorry justification for the spending is a response to last year, when the council landed over $2,000 in the red. But spending 5 percent of students’ money to build cohesiveness among councilmembers is excessive, to say the least.

Internally, the council cannot request more funding once its budget has emptied out. However, recklessly allocating money “just in case” is not fiscally responsible. Creating a general unallocated fund for emergencies is a simple and frequently used solution.

In 2004, the council convinced Warren students to approve their first activity fee, promising them a wide variety of new programs and services. Though some of the promises were fulfilled, others, including a college concert in the vein of Muirstock or Marshalpalooza, remain tabled. The council must get its priorities straight.