As leaders of three of the political student organizations on campus, we write in support of The 40 Percent Plan. We have grown frustrated by the status quo and our student government’s unwillingness to acknowledge the flaws in SOFC’s operation.
We believe The 40 Percent Plan would benefit students by providing them the opportunity to donate to organizations with which they are involved and incentivizing groups to compete for students’ money. The 40 Percent Plan encourages students to become knowledgeable about student groups and encourages groups to tailor their programming to align with students’ interests.
The 40 Percent Plan introduces an element of fairness and accountability that does not currently exist. Under the status quo, group leaders have to go through seemingly endless red tape to get funding for their organizations. This process distracts from groups’ substantive work and makes it difficult to plan events in advance because one never knows how much money SOFC will be willing to allocate. Under The 40 Percent Plan, groups will have more funds available to them throughout the year, making it easier to plan ahead.
Two main objections we have heard from members of DSG Executive Board are that 1) this policy could hurt small groups and 2) that groups could use the funds they receive from students on frivolous items like cars. Both of these objections are unfounded. Small groups will likely benefit from this policy because they have very passionate members who will donate substantial portions of their 40 percent to such small groups. And The 40 Percent Plan would not change the way student groups can spend their money. All groups would still have to report expenditures to UCAE before and after making purchases.
Our undergraduate student body is composed of 6,500 bright individuals, all of whom are knowledgeable about student organizations. We should trust our fellow students and give them a say in how their money gets spent. We hope you will join us in signing The 40 Percent Plan or, at the very least, help us find an alternative to the status quo.
Michael Elgart, Trinity ’14
President, Duke Libertarians
Diego Quezada, Trinity ’15
President, Duke Democrats
Taylor Imperiale, Trinity ’14
President, Duke College Republicans