There were no group proposals this week, so the majority of the SBC meeting was spent discussing changes to the committee for this semester. The meeting began by welcoming two new members to SBC — Jigme Tobgyel ’17, Allison Hrabar ’16, and Estefania Brambila-Olmedo ’16 — and reviewing the bylaws about meeting protocols and voting.
SBC is currently working on drafting a mission statement to encourage transparency as well as to provide a guideline for the committee while they are making decisions. Committee member Mosea Harris ‘17 created the draft of the mission statement, and all members will have the opportunity to comment on it and make changes before it is ratified.
Next, SBC discussed policy changes for the semester to make the process of providing funds more efficient, transparent and effective. Chair Toby Levy ’16 and Manager Dylan Gerstel ’17 had met with Deans Liliana Rodriguez and Mike Elias to discuss these policy changes, which include a revamping of the chartering process, changing the deadlines in the Fall and the Spring for chartering clubs, and creating a mid-year review to check how much money each club has spent. Levy will have these policies written up for review by the committee during the SBC meeting next week. Levy and Elias also discussed assigning each group an academic, cultural, or administrative advisor. They will continue to discuss this strategy at further meetings.
A sub-committee was then created to work on maintaining a list of precedents for the committee, to allow members to easily refer to past funding decisions.
SBC discussed the Forum for Free Speech (FFS), which allocates funding for speakers and lectures on the Swarthmore campus. Each year FFS receives $25,000 to help Swarthmore students bring speakers to campus. Last year, the Forum used $20,000, but this year FFS has so far has only used $7,000. After expressing his concern, Levy suggested that if the money continues to not be used, the Committee would come up with a list of ideas for an SBC sponsored speaker. After making the list, they would post it to Moodle and allow all students to vote on which speaker would come to campus. Some committee members expressed their concern with the idea of SBC choosing a speaker, but Levy said the committee will only act on this if the FFS money continues to go unspent.