USS vote leaves one group in charge

Whoa! We actually agree with ACPB?

Undergraduate Student Senate is already in charge of the Allocation Committee, the organization that determines how funds are distributed among student groups. It even oversees the All Campus Programming Board, the student-run group responsible for most major events on campus.

Currently, ACPB has an executive board that is independent from USS. The committee receives a share of the student activity fee – about 54 percent – to fund its events, but from that point on, members can choose to bring any event or celebrity to campus they think students will enjoy most. USS may be the base, but it’s ACPB, the organization created solely to deliver entertainment to the students, that makes the decisions.

USS Executive Director Ross Miltner wants to see that change. He proposed revamping USS and adding a position of director of programming, whose responsibilites would include serving as the chair of ACPB.

Miltner thinks it would make the groups two “equal arms” of programming in student government. ACPB leaders feel the change would undermine the organization.

We side with them.

USS already has a lot of power concerning campus programming. Senators dole out cash to student organizations through the Allocation Committee, and ACPB already receives its funding through that committee. But the current system gives ACPB more choices.

The committee can spend its 54 percent of student activity funds on whatever it feels the students want most. The new system would reduce ACPB’s share of the funds to 50 percent and require 80 percent of ACPB’s funds to be spent on concerts.

The proposed system would prohibit ACPB from allocating programming funds to outside organizations, not that it would matter because USS would have final budget approval for any program anyway.

This new system would put one organization in charge of all programming for Kent State students.

The current system breaks up the power a little bit and gives smaller student organizations more of a voice. They have two organizations to seek funding from. The proposed system would require everything to be approved by a student government that, to be blunt, most students at the university know nothing about.

Most students don’t know ACPB’s board either, but the students who choose the officers represent a broad range of student interests. Candidates for president have to have served on a student organization for at least a year, preferably for ACPB.

The new director would serve as a member of USS and be elected by the general public during spring USS elections. Most students on campus don’t pay attention to the elections. They should, but they don’t. This could allow someone with little to no experience to be elected to the office in charge of all the on-campus events.

Yesterday, USS voted in support of these changes. Now, the issue will be placed on the March 14 ballot for students to decide whether they agree or disagree with USS’ view. If students want to see the change, it would just have to be approved by the Board of Trustees – and once a decision gets to that level, it’s rare that they vote it down.

In short, the decision now lies in the hands of the students.

The above editorial is the concensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.