The Wilson College Government Association (WCGA) has faced a lot of conflicts this new school year. Between new club requirements (one service and one cultural event) and conflicting answers being given left and right, there is something else that has been added to this pile: apportionments.
A call for apportionment documentation was made at the end of September for clubs requesting funding from WCGA. However, on Tues. Oct. 20, WCGA announced during their monthly General Assembly that apportionments were going to be redone. So much confusion was surrounding the situation. Emily Ebner, WCGA Treasurer, cleared facts up in a recent interview.
“Since there’s something new with the service and cultural projects, that was the major thing that confused people. A lot of people were getting conflicting answers. Also, apportionment documentation [was an issue],” WCGA treasurer Emily Ebner ‘16 stated, when asked about the confusion, “We sat down and decided we are going to fix these problems. And my suggestion was to just redo apportionments.”
“This year, when we started, we did not have all of our staff members, some members quit the week before school started and we had to find replacements. We were not given much, if any, information on what our duties were, much less on the positions we were trying to do without until replacements were found. In the midst of learning how to fulfill our roles, we also wanted to change some of the things that we have heard student’s complain about or that we felt were ineffective,” Kerry Salmi, WCGA Chief Justice, further explains. “Our intentions were to simplify and ease the apportionment process as well as encourage students to actively participate in the Wilson community. Along the way of revamping the format of apportionments and WCGA we ran into a lot of road bumps.”
According to Ebner, many students were happy with their initial apportionments. Some students, however, were disappointed.
“Dealing with apportionments this year required us to jump through flaming hoops while juggling chainsaws and live grenades all while an air horn blows in our ears,” states Christie Munson ‘17. “It’s just made my trying to start Music Club back up more difficult. My initial apportionment was for just $40, after I asked for upwards of $500. What I received was not enough to cover the instrument rentals for the semester, not even for two whole months worth. This is very stressful, because without instruments nothing can be done in Music Club, and I cannot afford to pay for the rentals myself. I’m hoping that the reapportionments will resolve this issue.”
Students on campus have had mixed reactions on the overall confusion. Lindsey Sutton ’16 wishes the committee the best by saying, “Confusion happens, and they did what they felt was best to minimize and eliminate any further mistakes. I appreciate their honesty and desire to make the proper corrections.”
Figuring out apportionments is a team effort for WCGA. The committee does not have a set percentage that it goes by when dividing up apportionments, apportionments are instead determined by how much the club is involved on campus, how many members the club happens to have, and each club’s account balance is also taken into consideration.
By resubmitting apportionments, the WCGA is trying to rectify any mistakes that may have been made. Due to it being so late in the semester, this resubmission will also count for appeals unless the club chooses to argue the new amount with WCGA. In that case, it is open for discussion.
“Our hope is that the student body will approach WCGA via email, office hours, or General Assembly meetings with questions, concerns, and frustrations. We hope that the student body understands that while we are student leaders we are also students and can only do so much within this misguided system,” Salmi states. “Now that we know the issue, there should not be as many problems next semester. We’re proactively taking a stance against the confusion. We would just like to ask for people’s patience and understanding at this time.”
“We are still learning and it’s taking a whole lot of time out of us. It’s not easy balancing school work and balancing WCGA and being able to answer others questions. It’s not an easy job and most of the time, the reason we make things difficult is to benefit the students, it’s not to take time out of your day. We’re just trying to fix things,” Ebner concludes.
WCGA meets for General Assembly on a Tuesday once a month. The next General Assembly will be held on Nov. 10. They also have annual meetings every Tuesday, and are adding extra meetings to work on their group communications.
The new apportionments were resubmitted for consideration on Oct. 26. Final apportionments should be determined and posted outside of the WCGA room within the next week.
For any further questions regarding apportionments or simple inquiries, contact WCGA at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.