By Jewell Porter
Two years ago, before about half of the current student body started at Denison, DCGA invited students to submit proposals to spend $500,000 from the DCGA student body reserve fund to pay for improvements or additions to campus life.
This was prompted by the fact that the reserve fund at the time had about $900,000 that had been sitting there untouched. Ultimately, the student government voted to spend $145,000 of that $500,000 to transform the basement of Chamberlin Hall into a campus bar. This was the most amount of money allocated to any proposal.
While other proposals from the reserve fund like the La Fuerza Latina space, the Nest and other social spaces were built around campus, the Chamberlin Bar was never built. The funds, consequently, were frozen.
Current Finance Chair Sarah Anstaett ‘18 said, “In the Spring of 2014, DCGA believed campus was too divided on the specific use of the money and decided to wait to spend the money until a better sense what the student body wanted out of the space was attained.”
Anstaett said that the money stayed frozen as a result of the overspending of student organizations in the 2013-14 school year, and the money remained frozen in the 2014-15 school year because last year’s finance committee decided that it would be wise to keep the funds as frozen because they expected overspending again that year.
This year, the current senators of the student government voted last Tuesday to “unfreeze” the money allocated to the Chamberlin Bar Proposal, though Anstaett assured the present senators that students would still have the option to re-explore that proposal in the future.
She later said, however, that the resolution did not explicitly dictate how the money could be used in the future, and she added that she does not support spending more money from the reserve fund, including the funds that were meant to already be spent.
“Any future use of the money has yet to be determined, but I personally do not support excessive spending out of the reserve fund this year because it is my job to ensure DCGA is financially stable and does not spend more money than we have,” she said.
“The recent history of overspending concerns me and I am working to ensure DCGA spends within our means in the future.”
There is currently $295,467 in the reserve fund, including the $145,000 previously allocated for the Chamberlin Bar.