Duke Libertarians enthusiastically endorses The 40 Percent Plan. One of Duke’s greatest strengths is its diversity of interests and activities. For precisely this reason we are in favor of the plan, as it will increase students’ awareness of this diversity. Opponents of The 40 Percent Plan have claimed it pits groups against each other. They fail to acknowledge that groups are already pitted against each other. When the Management Consulting Club siphons off $3,000 for a boot camp that less than 30 students attend, that’s $3,000 not going to other worthy causes. When DSG spends $5,000 of students’ money to frame 15 photos for its offices—three of which they then lose—that’s $5,000 not going to other groups.
The 40 Percent Plan creates a system whereby the use of money is held accountable to students, not 14 unelected random students sitting in a boardroom controlling over $700,000. It establishes an incentive structure whereby groups have reason to reach out to students and involve them. It gives groups grounds to be proactive and students a reason to pay more attention and engage. Opponents of The 40 Percent Plan might call this campaigning—it’s really a system that enlivens awareness of diversity and counteracts apathy. Right now, entire categories of student interests are ignored or receive little funding by the SOFC, including a capella groups, engineering clubs and even the orchestra, among many others. And as a small political group, we believe the policy will not only benefit small groups but also promote campus discussion from small advocacy groups. In short, it is impossible for a 14-member board to encapsulate Duke. Only Duke students can encapsulate Duke.
The opposition to the plan was given a chance to speak to our group, but declined due to scheduling.
Ignoring the input from students and instead relying solely on 14 people to get everything right is not the way to improve Duke’s undergraduate experience. We encourage everyone who wants a vibrant and diverse student activities landscape to vote for The 40 Percent Plan on Tuesday.
Michael Elgart, Trinity ’14
President, Duke Libertarians