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Harvey Wilhelm
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SGA Cabinet shares Progress: Part III


Charged with handling the much-discussed 28,355 dollar deficit that resulted from last year’s overbudgeting and subsequent overspending, Treasurer Roni Finkelstein ’15 and Assistant Treasurer Gargi Magar ’16 had likely the least enviable positions in this year’s SGA Cabinet. Though the process was by no means painless, between the efforts of the Treasurers, other Cabinet members and the students they worked with, the budget is now back on track.

Finkelstein and Magar have worked to reverse ongoing trends of unchecked spending that made SGA in some peoples’ eyes as a source of financial handouts, and are aiming to make the funding process increasingly transparent.

They are hopeful that more stringent oversight, especially with regards to unnecessary spending, can be institutionalized into SGA’s future practices. The Cabinet has already received positive feedback from students and administrators since its announcement in late November that the budget is now on track. The Treasurers are now working with Analytics to design and administer a survey to gauge student opinion on SGA and budget-related matters.

In light of their improved financial standing, SGA invites students to bring their proposals for new projects and events of interest to them. SGA is especially interested in supporting collaborative events that would incorporate multiple groups. Funding proposals that represent a wide range of interests are more likely to attract large and diverse students, thus fostering greater cohesion. SGA is also aiming to maximize student input in SGA-sponsored events.

“The way I see our budget is it’s supposed to be something that brings our community together and for our students to be active on campus,” Finkelstein said.

Finkelstein and Magar are looking forward to a semester of financial stability and to increasing awareness of and engagement with the funding processes.


Both SGA Concerts and Films Committees have been mixing up the weekend entertainment on campus this semester. Victor Kyerematen ’14 as SGA Films Chair and Moira Donovan ’14 have worked to represent the musical and film tastes on campus by increasing publicity, encouraging committee participation and working on more collaborative events.

After disappointing turnouts to September’s Harris film screenings, Kyerematen has looked to more interdisciplinary programming to involve different groups of students and encourage attendance at film events. Collaborations this semester with [Weekend], like the screening of “The Great Gatsby” over Family Weekend, “The Silence of the Lambs” dinner-movie night and the recent Strand tickets for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” have all reached larger audiences with the added elements of food and activities.

With more combined film events planned for next semester, Kyerematen hopes to see more input from students through the SGA Films Committee.

“I’d really like to reach out to the student body and ask … for input,” Kyerematen said.

He mentioned that Films will be releasing a survey soon to solicit student opinions and suggestions for future screenings. Attendance at the committee meetings this semester has been notably intermittent and Kyerematen would like to see this change. Alternative contexts for film showings are another change SGA Films encourages, like when they brought Patrick Sammon, executive producer of the film “Codebreaker,” to field questions after a screening of the documentary in October.

Donovan has had less trouble getting student input for concert choices this semester, with consistently high participation by students on the SGA Concerts Committee and plenty of suggested artists and genres of music in demand. Although concerts have been generally well-received this semester, with “consistently over 100 people coming even to really small bands” at the start of the semester, attendance has been going through a “lull” since then with averages of fewer than 40 attendants per concert.

While Donovan was unable to secure many of the artists identified by last year’s Concerts Committee due to touring constraints, concerts this semester have featured mostly artists already touring through the area. For next semester, Donovan is looking to organize the concerts on geographic-genre themes.

Although SGA Concerts often faces questions over the relative popularity of some of the artists brought in, Donovan sees her role in managing concerts as a balancing act.

“[My job] is about balancing between giving people something to do over the weekends … [and] trying to represent what’s going on in music,” Donovan said.

The lag-time between the booking stage and the bands taking the stage often works against the constantly changing music demands on campus. This semester has had greater demand for punk garage rock, while past semesters have been more heavily weighted towards rap and electronic artists.

Besides the active committee members, Donovan has been impressed by and thankful for the rising class of sound-trained students.

“We have a much larger pool of people who are sound-trained,” Donovan said. “In the next coming years, we’ll have more than just one person who has to work it every week.”

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