It is a necessity that school funding is dispersed as democratically as possible. In an effort to run programs that include as much of the St. John’s student body as possible, the administration has transferred approximately 20 percent of Student Government, Inc.’s funds to the Campus Activities Board, a newly formed board of administrators whose purpose is to review campus activities and advise students on how to plan large-scale activities.
While the new allocation of funds makes only a trivial difference to students, there is obvious disappointment within SGI. As SGI Treasurer Wesley Faucher said, “I felt it was going to be a burden on the budget of Student Government-SGI will be working from some sort of deficit.”
The deficit Faucher speaks of brings hope in regards to accountability, as SGI will be forced to be stingier with money, dispersing their budget much more conservatively than in previous years.
As Faucher says, “Students will be more cautious coming to us with a plan.” A presentation on how and why requested capital will be spent will hopefully become a fundamental step in requiring SGI funding.
The development of CAB will provide students an opportunity to run events without the tedious process of requesting money from SGI, a factor that will hopefully inspire student activism. CAB’s main objective is to fund a wide array of programs, though it depends solely on the requests from students.
While St. John’s has hosted a plethora of events in recent years, student apathy is no stranger to its grounds.
With a rebuilding basketball program, one that the university all but rests upon in the search for school pride, and a student body largely composed of commuters, St. John’s struggles to find an all-encompassing program or group to rally around.
In turn, this void is widely responsible for disinterest and poor turnouts at University events.
The latest event to demonstrate the festering apathy wrought throughout the Queens campus is the Slick Rick concert held at Marillac Terrace on Sept. 2, CAB’s first official event. Whether it be for a lack of marketing, student laziness, or lack of appeal, the first event of the year saw a dreadful turnout, as somewhere approximately 50 students attended the concert.
When asked about the event, SGI President Rich Masana cut CAB slack for the poor turnout, considering it was their first event and that, “most students do not know about CAB yet.”
It is na√ÉØve to believe that students, who are not interested enough to attend most events in the first place, are interested in whether SGI or CAB sponsors an event. This is the same student body, composed of over 14,000 undergraduates, that turned out to cast less than 500 votes for SGI elections last year.
“What we [CAB] want is to fill Carnesecca Arena with students,” Director of Campus Activities and CAB chairperson Damien Duchamp said. In order to accomplish such a task today, CAB would have to give away new cars in Carnesseca Arena. As for tomorrow, a renewal of interest and excitement needs to resonate from the underclassmen.The freshmen of this campus have not developed the same sense of lethargic apathy that the rest of the student body has been exposed to, and therefore must produce leaders in creating advocacy and school-wide enthusiasm.
With the continuous expansion of our athletic program, as seen in the construction of Taffner Field House, and the chance for students to be guided in the development of events, St. John’s has an unprecedented opportunity to reach the kind of school pride that is seen at universities like Duke and Stanford. Let’s hope that we are not too disinterested to take advantage.