By Bryn Hsu '16
Running a club is an admirable task as it takes time, effort, and dedication. For the current Skidaiko club leaders however, it will take even more than that, as they have to overcome debt issues they inherited.
Last year, Skidmore hosted The East Coast Taiko Conference, the gathering of taiko teams from universities across the region. However, it was badly planned and led to overspending of the club’s budget. At the time, the club was led by a senior who has since graduated. The conference caused Skidaiko’s finances to begin going downhill. Currently, Skidaiko has a deficit of $4,066.66.
Funding for clubs comes from the Student Government Association (SGA) budget. The SGA is responsible for deciding how much money is given to each club and the Skidmore SGA Financial Guidelines states that the SGA “serves only to subsidize the costs of clubs/committees,” but “not to cover all expenses.” This is to discourage “excessive spending for personal benefit.” However, there appeared to have been a loophole, which allowed the Skidakio club leader at the time of the conference to maneuver around these guidelines. The leader of the club was also a member of the SGA executive board, and this led to a conflict of interest.
To solve the problem, Sam Harris ‘15, SGA Vice President for Financial Affiars, proposed installing a new policy stating that the Vice President of Financial Affairs and the Vice President of Club Affairs could no longer hold an officer position on a club e-board. A special election was held in November of this year allowing students to vote on the policy, which was approved.
Harris, along with the Budget and Finance Committee is also working with Skidaiko’s new leaders to figure out an amiable solution to the deficit, so that Skidaiko can remain a strong and successful performance group.
“It's just a bad situation for everyone involved, and they're good people trying to fix the problem,” said Harris.
Members of Skidaiko declined request for comment on this issue.