My F-Board Story

Two weeks ago the F-Board handed down some pretty upsetting decisions after marathon. We at Innermost Parts have been examining some these numbers on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not there were any trends in the allocation of funds, and whether or not a new system needs to be considered. For now, however, I hope to use this post as a forum for club leaders and members to air their grievances.

I’ll start with one of my stories: I’m the treasurer of the Brandeis Democrats, and we asked for $3289.12, divided up as follows:

• Bringing Keith McHenry (Food Not Bombs creator) to campus- Speaking Fee: $500, Subsidized Hotel/Lodging Fee: $50.
• 15 Tickets to See “Waiting For Superman,” a new movie about the DC public school system: $150.
• Bringing Comedy Central’s Jeff Kriesler to Campus: $2500
• Gas Money To Go Campaign for Paul Hodes in New Hampshire, 2 Cars: $89.12.

At first, we only got $150 dollars for the semester. Not even a general grant of $150, but $150 to be specifically allocated for the movie tickets. This was bothersome to me for a number of reasons. First, as they mention in a comment on our request, F-Board claims that “We don’t fund campaigns for politicians, only issues,” meaning that they were not inclined to grant us money to campaign for a Democrat. That’s fine assuming that the same standards are shown to other clubs, but that still leaves us with $3200.
Next, Jeff Kriesler was one of our most successful events of the last year, in the sense that we not only filled a large classroom with members of the Dems, but we also drew in people from all over campus. It seems that as he hasn’t gotten any less funny, the event would promise to be as successful this year, but we weren’t given the chance to bring him back to prove this. Without this, we’re down to $700.

Keith McHenry created Food Not Bombs, a wonderful organization which shuns war and promotes giving free vegetarian meals to the homeless. Since when has poverty been a partisan issue that isn’t worth funding? Is Keith McHenry too radical? SEA, SDS, DFA, and the Waltham Group didn’t seem to think so when they each expressed interest in the event.

That leaves us with the $150 we got for the movie tickets. First of all, this was the one item we did not expect them to cover, as it is expected that college students will be able to afford to go to the movies because they already do so on a weekly basis. We put this in there as a sort of “M&M” clause to make sure that the F-Board actually spent the time to read through our five requests. But clearly they gave it enough thought, and originally decided that it was the only thing worth funding for this semester. We’re a respected political organization on campus which hosts events year round to engage the entire community. In my time alone, we’ve brought Howard Dean to campus, worked a Deval Patrick campaign event which President Obama attended, phonebanked for Martha Coakley and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal, and ran a Haiti Benefit Concert, but all we were enabled to do was see a movie?

So what did we do? We appealed and waited. We asked for more money, and for the $150 already allocated to be converted into a general grant so that we could use it for more than only movie tickets. We got $400 more, most of which I’m betting will go to pay for a portion of Keith McHenry’s asking price. Yet the original request money to be converted to a general grant? Denied. So we take the good and the bad, as we attempt to maximize the potential of a club which this semester has more than doubled in size due to an influx of freshmen and other engaged students. But there are other clubs which didn’t appeal, and still find themselves in financial turmoil, unable to carry out events new and traditional. So I yield the floor to those people. Let’s talk together through our problems and see what comes of it?

A guiding question: Does anyone else feel slighted by fellow students whom we elected to aid our clubs, not restrict them?