Class council budgets to remain private

UA vote to require class councils to release their spending to students does not pass

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Class Council members and proxies participated in a UA vote last night to determine if class budgets should be made public.
Ray Wang–The Tech

The UA Council held a meeting yesterday to vote on whether the Class Council budgets should be made public to shared with undergraduates. The vote revealed a deep rift between the UA Council and Class Councils on the issue.

While the majority of the UA Council members present voted to require all Class Council budgets to be released to undergraduates, the majority of Class Council members present voted against the proposal. The results of the vote were 12 in favor, 34 opposed, and one abstaining.

Senior Class Council Representative, Liana Ilutzi ’17, explained that nobody from her class had complained to her about not being able to see the budget publicly. Ilutzi also cited the “friction” that may come about when students see that different classes received different amounts of funding. She mentioned that her job in Class Council was not only to unite the class but to unite the school.

Olivia Brode-Roger ’17, former Judicial Review Board member and current member of The Tech, citing a conversation she previously had with Ilutzi, later clarified to The Tech that while the freshman Class Council receives a few thousand dollars, senior Class Council receives around $400,000.

If students wanted to see the budget, they could reach out to a Class Council member to show it to them in person, said Ilutzi. She cited that around 10 people had reached out to her over the past four years asking to see the Class Council budget.

Brode-Roger said that it had taken her 2 weeks to get a meeting with her class representative, Ilutzi, and 30 minutes to look through the class budget on Ilutzi’s computer.

The conclusion of the meeting was to create working groups over the summer to reach consensus between the UA and Class Council, effectively postponing the vote on public budgets until the results from these working groups come in.

During the meeting, Class Council members claimed they had only heard this meeting would be discussing submitting budgetary reports the morning of the meeting.

However, an email from Alexa Martin sent April 24 to Ilutzi and several other Class Council representatives stated that the meeting would cover “introducing a clause for submitting a public preliminary budget for the year and an end of the year budgetary report for each Class Council.”

Ilutzi confirmed to The Tech that she, as well as other Class Council members, received this email, but wrote that “we were not given the exact verbiage on the exact vote and amendments until the night of the vote.”

Also discussed during the meeting was a clause allowing UA Council to remove members of Class Council and Ring Committee. Additionally, the UA Council voted to establish a “policy platform.” Elena Alberti ’17, the UA public affairs committee chair, wrote in an April 24 email to the undergraduate body that the platform will “dictate what the UA does and does not support in terms of national policies as well as MIT policies.”