Spectator controversy frames scrutiny of SFC policy

When assigning a budget for an organization, the SFC takes into account its function on campus, its previous work and its future plans. However, when an organization decides, mid-term, to drastically change its mission statement, it undermines the SFC’s role. The SFC should have a consistent rule to deal with this sort of contingency.

Creating a procedure for mid-semester mission changes, based on the review and recognition/funding policy that every club goes through at the beginning of each semester, would permit monitored reassignment of funds and mission and would save the club (and the SFC) headaches and money.

Completely new clubs should not be able to be formed mid-semester through this policy, but if, for some reason, the Amherst Knitting Guild for Beginners had a burning desire to become instead the Amherst Crocheting Guild for Experts, this could be handled in a rational, logical, bureaucratic fashion.

This issue probably stems, at least partially, from the SFC’s policy threatening defunding of clubs that do not spend most of their allotted budget.

Naturally, each club should make a good faith effort to spend all of its funds on events that are enjoyable and interesting to the student body, but sometimes, there is simply not enough interest in the organization to do that. Such a scenario should not be met with punishment tactics by the SFC. Instead, the club should be allowed to give its funds back to the discretionary fund or be able to change its mission statement, thereby increasing interest and contributing something noteworthy to the Amherst community.

The SFC cannot look the other way when something like The Spectator radically changes its very essence as an organization-the money being used has not, officially, been allocated for such purposes. A policy for mid-semester mission changes that required some kind of review, while taking care to stter clear of censorship, would satisfy the requirements of fairness and continuity that the SFC needs to uphold.