In SCG’s recent parliament meeting – President Shreena Patel revealed they’ve lost their funding from RIC due to the SCG Parliament not meeting their bylaws. President Frank Sánchez explained this news in a letter to Patel addressed Jan. 14.
“It is my understanding that SCG is not currently compliant with the requirements of its bylaws. The pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on SCG’s operation, but it is also the case that these operational concerns, to some extent, predate the pandemic,” Sánchez wrote. “Given the nature of the issues outlined above, until further notice, I have determined that the college will not make additional transfers of funds to SCG or delegate responsibility to SCG for distribution of such funds.”
The letter itself does not address specific bylaws violated. However, Patel and Vice President Matthew Thureson explained to The Anchor what bylaws weren’t met.
“We lost funding due to not being in compliance with the quorum. And also due to the fact that we don’t have enough parliament members. We’re supposed to have 20 people on board, but we do not have 20 at this time,” said Patel.
SCG only has five parliament members out of the 20 needed. This does not count the Executive Board. Most of the members don’t show up to meetings either. The Anchor asked if there are any communication efforts to figure out why members are not showing up despite being elected to do so.
“Of course. We communicate with them. We send them reminders 24/7 at this time. Unfortunately some people can’t come due to religious exemptions and their dogs being sick,” says Patel.
SCG funds all of the student clubs and organizations at RIC. The Anchor reached out to ask President Sánchez if a decision like this would give RIC more control over the student organizations.
Sánchez replied, “Quite the contrary, the college is participating in conversations with the SCG Executive Council to secure institutional support as SCG considers how best to increase its efforts to support student organizations. In the meantime, our student organizations will continue to operate as usual with an assurance that nothing should prevent their engagement with SCG or their request for funding for any proposed activities. It is in the best interest of the college and a fundamental pillar of our campus community to have an autonomous, fully functioning and representative student organization base.”
Patel and Thureson indicated SCG are attempting to change their bylaws to lower the number of required members to ten. In the meantime, SCG still has funds in their reserve.
“The money in the SCG Escrow account is currently at $91,737.21. A majority of that money will be going to fund SCG's 2022-2023 budget,” said SCG’s Administrative Supervisor and Lead Accountant Dianna Costa. “The Finance Commission made this recommendation so more money from the General Fund would be available to the rest of the organizations. The total amount available for the start of the next academic year for both the SCG Escrow account and the General Fund will not be realized until the fiscal year ends on June 30.”
The issue of losing funding could be the tip of the iceberg for SCG as a group unless more students join parliament. SCG is facing unprecedented territory which means the future of student organizations and student life on campus is up in the air.
The Anchor will continue to provide updates on SCG’s financial situation and how this will affect the RIC community.