STHSA Meeting October 24
Haley Jones, MDiv ’15, treasurer
Benjamin Mead, MTS ‘14
Kourtni Brown, MDiv ‘15
Laura Owens, MDiv ‘15
Lauren Delano, MDiv ‘16
Ian Boley, MDiv ‘16
Desi Sharp, MDiv ’14, vice president
Lauren Hickey, MDiv ‘15
Kristen Redford, MDiv ’15, secretary
Ky Scott, MDiv ‘16
Joseph Kyser, MDiv ’14, president
Seol Yun Jeong, MDiv ‘16
MUGS FOR THE NEW COMMUNITY SPACE
Approximately 20 people have signed up to paint mugs for the new community space. If we budget approximately $500 for each event, that should cover both events. We will have a more accurate budget once the final count has been determined (next Wednesday is the last day to sign up). We can vote at the next STHSA meeting on the actual amount. Also, the Spiritual Life Office’s contribution is at least $100 but might be able to be more. We will tell Jennifer Mihok this space doesn’t need her old mugs but that Theo House could use them if she wants to donate them somewhere with STH. The logistics for the day of is to meet at 5pm at STH and take the T to The Clayroom or for people to go directly to Clayroom between 6-6:30.
The winner was Melody Sanford’s design – the black and white handwritten design. We are still waiting to hear about if the image can be printed over zipper as well as if the manufacturer we’ve contacted uses sustainable practices (i.e. no sweatshops). Joseph should have an update on this at the next meeting.
— Katie Cole and Kathryn House have both used American Apparel before, so if this current manufacturer is not viable, American Apparel could be an option.
–We will be circulating a sign-up sheet to get a sense of the number of people interested in a hoodie. We will need a minimum number to order them though that number is still TBD. People interested in hoodies will need to pay up front.
Desi wants to open the floor for any issues to be listed all at once then Haley will answer what she can. Then if there are still questions, list them all and return first to Haley for further clarification. Ky raises two concerns:
- Ky wants to reassess percentages of the budget in lieu of the allotted amount we’ve been given by SAO. (“budget in relation to allotted amount of money – percentages and prioritization”)
- Ky wants a budgeting review at the end of the year (“zero line budgeting”)
Haley explains how the budget works now and to address the previously mentioned concerns:
- When we say a student organization can have up to $800 that meant they can spend it in any way they want to as long as they don’t go over $800. Thus the transferred funds puts the student organizations in charge of how they spend that money and SAO is now responsible for monitoring how student organizations spend their money and reimbursing student organizations, not STHSA. It’s the role of the president and treasurer of STHSA to review how that money is being spent and this does occur at the end of each school year. Regarding the need to submit an itemization of expenses with a budget request (the existing policy), this process means student organizations actually have a conversation about what’s happening in the forthcoming year and demonstrate to STHSA that these conversations occurred by giving us ideas of how they plan to spend the money they are requesting. Organizations are not restricted to the line-items for how you spend your budget, though (i.e. things come up and sometimes the events you want to do fall through).
- We now have a standardized budget request form which we didn’t have in years prior before.
- Haley voices concern with auditing money spent by student organizations because it takes away a sense of agency student organizations have when we give them money. She does acknowledge that it’s originally STHSA’s money, and thus understanding the desire to hold organizations accountable, but emphasizes this is a balance and trusting relationship.
- Regarding the budget percentages:
- Priority one was Community Lunch. Officers just met with Ashley Anderson about the Community Life Partnership that will help Community Lunch be cheaper than it was in the past. Thus STHSA will fund the five remaining Community Lunches by transferring money to this new group.
- Student organizations was priority 2 and they have been funded already.
- Student travel is the third priority and will be discussed at the next administrative meeting in November.
- Any STH student can look at Haley’s spreadsheet on every transaction STHSA makes, we just have to ask. Joseph suggests figuring out a way to somehow publicize snapshots of the budget throughout the semester as Haley reconciles it each month.
- Kourtni voices concern about not wanting to put too much strain on Haley/this position.
- Ky states that if student organizations are not spending their full $800 (or requested amount) and those funds go back into STH at the end of the year, they’re funds we could have put toward one of the other budget priorities but didn’t know we were going to have the money to fund them. He suggests that STHSA can follow over the next few years how much money student organizations request from STHSA in comparison with how much they have spent. His thought is to develop a system for us to manage our funds in a way that allow us to maximize the disbursement of funds and reduce money becoming untouchable after it’s transferred to student organizations.
- Haley asks for clarification on what Ky’s new budget request process would look like. Ky responds feels zero-line budgeting would establish a rapport for how student orgs tend to spend their money. Kourtni voices that student organization activities that occur are based on governing bodies of each org. Desi questions Ky’s ultimate goal. She wants to know if Ky wants STHSA to tell a new exec board of a student organization that because the previous exec board didn’t spend the full amount they requested this new exec board can no longer request the full amount possible in the future?
- Haley asks if Ky imagines student organizations in the fall requesting a set amount of money for a particular event? A flat amount? A case by case basis?
- Kourtni suggests a provision in the bylaws on student organization funding that very large organizations have the ability to request above the amount typically listed as the max for student organizations. This idea will be discussed at the bylaws meeting later this year.
- Desi explains how approval for travel funding used to be approved and how it’s going to be handled now.
- Desi lifts up that we operate with a budget because “money is what makes the world goes round”, but believes that as theologians, we work on a different system than a business, so we work with grace. She’ll have a very hard time saying to a given organization with a large membership that they can have more money because of their size while smaller organizations or starting organizations get less because of their size or bad leadership of the previous year.
Ky moves to end the discussion on the budget now. Laura seconds. Vote: 12-0-0
Desi request people bring concrete ideas for changes to policy to the bylaw discussion.
Josh Niforatos is interested in a group order of BU STH Fleeces, preferably Patagonia fleeces. Contact him or Kristen for more information.
Next week is a town hall meeting with the deans in place of the regular STHSA meeting. It will still be 1-2 on Thursday in the community space unless you hear otherwise.