By Kyle Kittredge
The Student Activity Fee Committee (SAFC) bylaws have been changed once again. This past Sunday, Student Senate voted to revert back to the “old ways” until student organizations feel that their voices are heard.
Previously, the Business Managers (BMs) of student organizations could not vote in SAFC meetings with Student Senate. This left BMs in more of a lobbying role, which many students felt was unfair since the changes occurred over the summer.
Now BMs can vote again, and the conversation has been opened back up to discuss future changes in SAFC bylaws.
“I knew that the changes were going to be coming because I was the one to make the motion to change them back.” Student Body Vice President Ryan Grogan said.
“We want all peoples’ voices heard. So we put them back so that they could have their voices heard,” he coninued.
Lincoln Crutchfield, a former business manager, SAFC senator, and USNH trustee, discussed the process of the meeting for this change. Unlike Grogan he was not in favor of the change to begin with.
“There was near-universal acknowledgement of the merits of the changes, but there seemed to be a consensus that the discussion should be focused on the process by which the original changes were made, rather than a discussion of the merits,” he said.
“It is also important to note that many people from various organizations view the current SAF (Student Activity Fee) process as broken and lacking accountability,” added Crutchfield, “and this change allows the committee to operate under that admittedly broken system.”
“Some orgs didn’t support the changes, some realized our reasoning behind the changes,” Grogan said. “The only way we can do what’s best for students is to make sure the committee members who vote can be held accountable.”
Others were apprehensive and are glad that the changes occurred.
“In my eyes, I see it as a good thing because BMs now have the right to vote again on proposals that come to SAFC, said Alex DaPonte, a junior accounting major.
“It shows that there is a system of checks and balances and we’re not giving power to just Student Senate,” DaPonte said, “and its being broken into 14 different BMs who see a different niche in campus life.”
Some view the change in a more unfavorable light.
Crutchfield said, “I was disappointed to learn that people felt hurt that their voices were not heard. However, the previous changes were, for the better and I am sad to see a regression in students’ ability to hold the SAF accountable.”
Regardless, Grogan will be proposing new changes once again in the upcoming weeks.
“I support these bylaw changes and I will stand by the idea that BMs are great at what they do, and that they put on amazing events,” Grogan said, “but we need to make sure the committee is what’s best for students.”
DaPonte said he will attend the meeting to discuss the changes, “but I can’t say what the turnout will be.”