Last night’s meeting of Barnard’s Student Government Association Rep Council was strictly business and usual. Meaning, of course, that there was not much to get done, but everyone was pretty earnest about it nonetheless. Barnard Bureau Chief Dassi Karp is back and sardonic as ever! Read on for her recount of the very little that went down.
Friends, it has been a while. Turns out, not much has changed. This week, SGA welcomed COO Robert Goldberg and VP of Finance Di Benedetto to discuss Barnard’s finances. Goldberg and Di Benedetto, who speak at SGA meetings on this topic every semester were gracious and well-spoken, but they didn’t have much to say. For an overview of how Barnard’s finances work, check out last time they came. Or the times before that. Goldberg and Di Benedetto seemed to realize that their presentation may have been too early in the semester to really share anything new, even pointing out that most of the slides they were using (nice looking pie charts and bar graphs, I must say) were just copies of ones used in the past.
The administrators reminded the Reps that Barnard is tuition-dependent with a small but growing endowment. Di Benedetto described a “scary slide” that compared the size of Barnard’s endowment to those of similar schools as “we are mighty, but our endowment isn’t much.” Goldberg explained that this is due to a lack of “a historical priority on fundraising,” saying that “some of these schools were founded on an endowment. Barnard was founded on an idea.” A nice subtle jab at our competitors and a very well-composed way of saying that Barnard just doesn’t have so much money.
The presenters didn’t have much to present, but that didn’t stop our still-optimistic Reps from trying to ask questions. Either they didn’t quite understand what Goldberg and Di Benedetto’s roles were in the administration (understandably so, because Barnard bureaucracy is crazy), or they just wanted to air what was on their minds, because most questions asked were duly noted and then directed elsewhere. Well-meaning Reps raised concerns about supporting low-income students (specifically, the loss of the textbook waiver and free laundry programs) and allotting space (what in the world will become of LeFrak?). The administrators answered the best they could, directing them to other departments when relevant.
I have high hopes for this year’s SGA reps. Hopefully, this is the year they learn to become efficient, effective, and stop wasting their own time.
photo via Px Here