SDC should remember that it serves students, not itself
Last Wednesday, in the cramped,
goldfish-cracker-strewn basement of Shirley Apartments, Student Dormitory Council (SDC) failed to approve cmuTV?s request for money to extend its services to campus. The sparsely attended meeting lost quorum when a member left early, and a vote on cmuTV?s appeal was delayed for a third time.
This is the latest in a series of fumbles by SDC. An organization that can?t keep track of how many members it has in a room at one time is a troubled organization indeed. How is it possible that they are responsible for tens of thousands of dollars if they can?t even manage their own meetings? And it is not as though this is an aberration in an otherwise solid track record. SDC has failed their constituents for quite some time.
SDC?s responsibilities are increasingly veering away from concerns with residence halls and student life and are becoming scattered and politically motivated. SDC seems to put most of their energy into their Saturday films, Booth, and Buggy. Housing concerns, particularly those involving recreational equipment and hall activities, are frequently reported as being ignored or dismissed by SDC members.
Every student in campus housing pays $14 that contribute to the dorm activities fee, for which SDC is responsible. This money should clearly be delegated to projects and events that could benefit students in Housing. It is hugely disappointing that a project like cmuTV, which would directly benefited residents, has been so flippantly cast aside. What is more suspicious is that a substantial chunk of the dorm activities fee goes directly towards SDC?s own activities. SDC spends a large chunk of money on Carnival Booth and Buggy; two years ago the organization selfishly spent upwards of $6000 on its own Buggy Team.
Reports of embezzlement cast an even darker shadow over SDC?s allocation of the dorm activities fee. When a wide-screen television originally purchased for a dormitory goes home with one of an organization?s members, it?s time for an external audit.
The SDC funding chair is frequently absent from meetings at which other organizations request money for resident-
related activities. At the most recent meeting, the funding chair fooled around, sitting on the presidents lap. A governing body must take its job far
SDC should seriously consider cmuTV?s request for funding. This process has dragged on far too long and done nothing but show how poorly SDC operates. cmuTV?s proposal to go to 24-hour broadcasts offers value to residents.
Students in Housing need to be more aware of how SDC operates. Instead of being responsible stewards of the dorm activities fee, this is an organization that is more dedicated to its own social activities. SDC meetings must be more professional and accessible to students. SDC must not be permitted to use dorm activities fee for its own Booth and Buggy endeavors. It?s time for SDC to remember that they are supposed to serve students, not just themselves.