To the Editor:
I am writing in response to last week’s editorial by Greg Leporati, particularly in regards to his statements about Winter Carnival and Student Government.
As a former committee chair and representative of Student Government, I am afraid that this article may lead to misunderstandings about Student Government, Inc. SGI is incorporated, meaning that it is a seperate legal entity from the University as a whole.
While SGI is a corporation whose purpose is specifically for St. John’s students, Student Government funds are not co-mingled with that of the University. In fact, Student Government’s funds come specifically from the funds collected as the Student Activity Fee.
While Mr. Leporati speaks of the extravagance of this year’s event, the raise in student government spending is directly correlated to the raise in the Student Actitvity Fee in the 2006-7 academic year.
Also, Student Government spending is not unrestricted. Student Government, Inc. must balance their budget every year and expenditures require floor approval.
While the article makes it sound that Student Government just decides to spend as much as it wants, there are procedures to make sure that the spending is wise, such as special allocations requiring budget committee approval.
Once again, this is only speaking about Student Government, Inc. funds, not St. John’s University funds.
While there are definitely signs of an economic slowdown in official university hiring, Student Government, Inc. and its spending are different from the University and SGI spending should not be interpreted as “SGI versus other departments.”
Benjamin R. BlumSJC Graduate 2008 Former Academic Affairs Committee Chair, SGI