Fun with Funds Part II: The SGB Budget

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In the continuing saga of ABC/SGB budget and group allocations, SGB has just released their budget, as well as a handy Powerpoint presentation entitled “Fun with Funds” (really!). “I apologize for the lack of animation, but we wanted to get it out quickly,” explained SGB chair Jon Siegel.

So let the comparisons begin:

In the political arena, Democrats were allocated $7500, the Republicans $1500, the Libertarians just $350 despite a New Yorker write-up. CPU was a huge winner with a whopping $15,000.

On the publications front, Ad-Hoc apparently still exists and apparently was allocated $800. Who knew? The Current also received $800.

A group cryptically entitled “Catholics” received $8500, while Hillel took home $27,000. The Orthodox Christian Fellowship received $735, nearly double that of the Atheists and Agnostics, who received $350.

This was a only small sampling, so head to the SGB website to see the full budget.




  1. who knew

    great, my club receives more than the socialists. the world is a happy place.

  2. cyang  

    Whats Hillel doing with all that money? Buying gold?

    • because  

      Hillel is the largest student group that has well over 30 subgroups among it. So if divided equally its less than $1000 bucks per group, some of which have over 200 student members. Not to mention its only about $30 per student overall.

    • @cyang

      lol! buying gold? you betcha!

    • Anonymous

      This is why SGB resisted calls from both the Councils and Student Affairs to release this info in years past. The previous policy was that each group could choose to make its budget allocation public if it felt comfortable, but that the Board wouldn't be disclosing budget info for individual groups.

      Clearly the current board has made the decision to trust the Columbia community not to use budget info as an excuse to make baseless accusations against minority groups, like Hillel. Their decision takes a fair amount of courage given the atmosphere on campus. Please don't continue to prove them wrong.

      Stay classy Columbia or else alumni will feel the urge to lecture.

  3. "nearly"?  

    Learn2math please

  4. on the contrary  

    It's not as if we're saying that we need $30 per member. The reality is that "Hillel" is not a single group, but rather simply a budget line for distributing money for all 30+ of those groups without them each needing to apply for funds independently.
    Each Hillel group applies to the Hillel board for funding and then as a bloc, Hillel applies to SGB.
    In short, if you were to look at the budgets for Hillel groups, you would find that they all receive between $100 and $1000 per annum, just like every other SGB group.
    There is no imbalance in the funding, so no need to cry Jewish conspiracy.
    Jews are not a homogenous group, and if you add up all of the christian groups, you'll find that their funding as a bloc is quite large as well.

  5. guy who knows things

    major religions by traditional SGB budget range:

    Judaism $25-$30k
    Christianity $18-$22k
    Islam $13-15k
    Hinduism $6-8k
    Buddhism $2-3k

  6. yo,  

    i loved that powerpoint presentation.

  7. nice

    How nice. It seems like we can't go a month without someone writing a post that is resentful of the Jews/Jewish people in one way or another. It's really a great reflection of this school.

  8. uhhh  

    That "Fun with Funds" presentation was incredibly immature. It really is telling that Siegel felt the need to legitimize SGB's practices in that mess. Who cares which group came first? Who cares about the "glory" of publishing budgets first.

    If Siegel thinks that ABC groups are over-funded, perhaps that's why he applied last year to get his "Travel Enthusiasts Association" recognized. What were they going to do, share photos and have passport drives?

    Oh, and one more thing, as an Econ-Stats major I can say that your methodology in analyzing the allocations is way off.

  9. haha  

    powerpoint shows that sgb feels inferior to abc!

    but then again, everyone already knew that, with sgb's incessant whining about everything.

  10. i'm not impressed.  

    First of all, this is terribly unprofessional of the SGB board. The governing boards and councils exist to facilitate, promote, and improve student life on campus. This presentation does none of that -- it actually divides this campus even more than it already is.

    Second, none of these figures have any meaning without student participation numbers attached, or even a count of the number of events put on each year by groups under each board. Filtering this data and focusing only on a few numbers, rather than the larger picture, is obviously going to skew interpretations in favor of one board over another.

  11. ABCer  

    I'm not going to criticize SGB based on where they allocate their money--I mean, they're elected fairly and all--but this recent stunt with the presentation makes me wonder if they're as immature with everything else.

  12. ummmm  

    Is anyone else wondering how the College Republicans put on the events that they do/create controversy with such a small budget?

  13. CPU????  

    Annoying people of all political stripes merits a massive budget grant?

  14. thanks

    Thank you all, everyone, for proving why these numbers used to be private. I always am open for more transparency on campus, but seriously, the whining and bitching about which group gets what based upon religion is ridiculous. It is insulting to all those who have put in a ton of work to generate these numbers.

    Try, for once, to be mature about these issues and not make these numbers political. Things are allocated on a need basis, not on a "we like you more than these people" basis, as they always have been.

  15. ...  

    Actually, these numbers are usually public. I don't know about SGB (and that's not a swipe, I really just don't know for sure), but I know that ABC's budget was public up until last year. I think they messed up and forgot to put it up or something. In any case, these numbers aren't a big deal, you could have always asked for them from either group. People are just looking to make a big deal out of something.

  16. what do  

    philanthropists wear under their pants?


  17. ...  

    i am going to hunger strike until a new course entitled "introduction to not using eight million fucking acronyms for everything" is added to the core curriculum.

  18. Ehh  

    I don't think the powerpoint was meant to be an attack on the ABC; there was no "immature attack" beyond comparisons of numbers & facts. I think the SGB have a fair point in "whining all the time" if they are significantly under-funded compared to every other governing board. The only reason I can venture is historical precedent; otherwise ABC groups are probably smaller than or around the same size as SGB groups (contrary to most of the Councillors/ABCers postings here). SGB groups probably program more regularly than ABC groups do (consider a religious group vs. a performance or a career group).

    I thought the powerpoint reflected badly on the Councils, not the ABC, so I don't think the malice was intended at them. The councils should really be opening up their FaCU process, and explaining themselves, and I'm glad this powerpoint came out because I was not aware of these funding disparities. People - especially ABC - need to chill.

    • ......  

      "The councils should really be opening up their FaCU process"

      is FaCU pronounced FaC U? Cuz that would be funny.

    • F@CU

      Is open, as of last year (thank you Seth and Dan). Read their guidelines and explanations for cuts for this current year's budgetary allocations at:


      • P.S.

        That also was established prior to SGB's powerpoint...

        • P.S.  

          Those explanations do not reflect reality, nor do they explain the decision-making process. Opening up the FaCU process means allowing impartial observers/the media at your deliberations.

          Also, all governing boards are subject to F@CU, including CI, ABC, IGC, etc. so I guess its the councils saying a big F@CU to students all round.

          There really seem to be a lot of politicians posting on this thread. Otherwise, I can't explain why the ABC would get so many favorable posts versus the SGB. I'm in groups under each board, and it's pretty clear to me that ABC does it's best to restrict programming, check your expenditures against your mission statement, pile bureaucracy on you, and treat you as a liability - basically they are like administrators. The SGB on the other hand seems to be willing to fight the administration on bureaucracy, remain content-neutral, and encourage student self-government.

          So why the hate? To be honest, as a student group member, I really don't give a rat's ass about this stupid SGB/ABC debate, but the Councils really need to step up to the plate and encourage transparency and accountability.

  19. A Note

    Groups that receive $175 / $350 are in their first semester / year as a (re)recognized group. After one year has passed they are entitled to apply for a not-horrifyingly-small budget just like everyone else.

  20. alexw  


  21. Ashi

    These days it is budget 2008 that seems to be running through everyone’s mind. Every where I go people are either talking about stock market or the budget. Every one are holding themselves and hoping that this time budget might be in their favor. And Zapak has some interesting way to spread the importance of the budget among the youths through their new game

  22. hmm  

    more like STUPID GUYS BUTT

  23. A Different Party  

    Club Sports, which also had it's budget cut this year, does not release it's numbers for individual clubs, and there have been no major complaints. Everyone knows which clubs get the most (Ski, Equestrian, and Sailing come to mind, maybe Men's Hockey as well), but they are varsity-level competitive and have high infrastructure costs to participate, and by virtue of that almost uniformly have the highest dues. Again, something that most people are aware of, so there are very few, if any, complaints of non-transparency in funding because no one argues with the justifications for allocations.

    ABC and SGA have to contend with groups that are more socially charged (ie religious groups) and sometimes opposed (ie political groups) so cries of unfair allocations are more common, but I think that a hidden system is better at the club level.

  24. meh  

    I think that releasing the numbers is only fair since it is student funded. What if the federal budget was not publicized?

    People also have the right to complain. Just as I have the right to ignore them. If it forces the governing boards to justify perceived inequality in monetary disbursements, so be it.

  25. Ding

    screw ABCs ridiculous red tape and procedures for actually spending money. seriously.

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