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          Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding

          Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: Opinion
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          To the Editor:



          Much confusion has arisen recently around the decision to remove approximately $7000 or 19 percent of the Interfraternal Congress (IFC) and Panhellenic Council's Student Activity Fee (SAF) funding due to its possession of a rollover. As I have recently completed my term of duty as member-at-large for IFC, for which I attended every IFC and PHC executive and general body meeting as well as several meetings, I possess an intimate knowledge of how this semester's events came about and have since transpired.

          First and foremost, Greek Life does indeed have a 20-year accumulated rollover of just under $80,000. This number seems huge, and no one in a Greek executive position would disagree with that. However, how it came to be this high puts this number into perspective. Over the past 20 years (or, more accurately ,the last 40 SAF periods), Greek Life has run a small rollover around $2000. This unbudgeted rollover appeared from various sources: IFC allocated $300 to the Math Gala and the Gala ended up spending $200 (a Math Gala committee decided to forgo food for which funds were budgeted at a meeting). While never much in any one place, 40 budget periods can make small uncorrected errors balloon unnoticed.

          This semester, the executive boards of both Panhel and IFC performed a more thorough audit of all the financial matters and accounts under their purview than has ever been done in recent memory, and that is when this compounded error was discovered. Within 24 hours of discovery of this rollover, SEC, at their April 1st meeting, voted to remove funding before IFC and Panhel could devise any course of action to correct the finding. Not only was this decision unprecedentedly quick, but SEC removed $5000 more per semester than the average rollover.

          IFC and Panhel executives devised a plan that they felt would be the best for all students for the next SEC meeting on April 15th. This plan included three parts. First, Greeks from both executive boards created a new standard for fiscal transparency with the creation of a new Greek life semesterly fiscal report. This document, and the improved accounting system used to create it, would include all current and future plans for all money that Greek life has. It includes funds allocated to Greek life from SAF, and will be made publically available on the Greek life website to ensure that this will never happen again. Second, and most important, the plan would gift the entirety of the rollover into next semester's SAF allocations so that the money returns to those to whom it rightfully belongs - the students of Case Western Reserve University. Since IFC and Panhel will now be starting essentially at zero and have plans in place to prevent such an error from occurring again, we asked that SEC reverse its April 1 decision. However, SEC refused to accept this new plan. Yes, SEC refused an $80,000 gift on your behalf.
          Continued...
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            Michael Lyrenmann

            posted 4/23/10 @ 1:40 AM EST

            Thank you for your common sense, Matt.

            I agree, a rollover in itself isn't a big deal, especially when Greeks had plans in place to remedy that situation. (Continued…)

            Details   Reply to this comment

            Brian Browne

            posted 4/23/10 @ 9:29 AM EST

            While Matt did a great job clarifying some points, there are some inaccuracies in his letter as well as some ideas that deserve further attention.

            First, the suggestion the Greek Life's rollover has been accumulating evenly is incorrect. (Continued…)

            (1 reply)   Details   Reply to this comment

            Brian

            posted 4/23/10 @ 5:16 PM EST

            Matt says "While never much in any one place, 40 budget periods can make small uncorrected errors balloon unnoticed."

            Seems like the wrong people have been put in charge of money. (Continued…)

            Details   Reply to this comment

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            In This Issue

            News

            • A Conversation with Caroline Goulding
            • Don't blow it all at once: financial tips for recent graduates
            • International student session to debut during 2010 orientation
            • Name That Place - 4/23/2010
            • Relay For Life raises $76,000, short of goal but not short of spirit
            • Student Leadership Award Winners
            • Tanning dangers abound as summer approaches
            • What Now?
            • Mass funding successful for some, headache for other organizations

            Sports

            • Case falls to Wooster at Progressive Field
            • Spartan Spotlight: Obinna Nwanna
            • Spartans are optimistic heading into UAA's
            • Spartans extend win streak to six
            • Spartans snap long losing streak
            • The next step
            • Top 10 Spartan stories of 2009-2010

            Opinion

            • 2009-2010 Year in Review
            • Letter to the Editor: Straight Answers to Questions about Greek Life Funding
            • Living - and dying - on your own terms
            • The last hurrah: experiencing senior week
            • What are you doing this summer?

            Focus

            • A final fling for finals
            • Despite an oppressive crowd and disappointing opener, Ben Folds continues to impress on stage
            • MaDaCol performance distinguishes dance as alternative communication medium
            • Parting word of advice: Express yourself
            • Springfest blowout to feature activities, student bands and national headlines
            • The best bars in Cleveland
            • Tri-C Jazz Festival features stunning jazz organ performance, among others
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