Proper allocation of funds

If the Inter-Residence Association (IRA) general body votes to go ahead with its plan to grant free bed waivers – essentially a free stay in a traditional double – to its executive board, it would raise serious questions about the organization’s vision, legitimacy and responsiveness to the students it represents. IRA Executive Board members argue that granting bed waivers is a strategic measure that will increase its attractiveness to qualified student leaders, while guarding against the current trend of IRA members leaving to become RAs for financial reasons. Due to a conflict of interest, RAs may not serve on IRA. We would argue that the issue of IRA/RA competition over existing student leaders be rectified, instead, through the recruitment of additional student leaders. With a bigger pool of leaders, the two institutions won’t have to out-compensate one another. The measure would also contradict its goal of increasing the legitimacy of IRA. Their Web site states the organization’s responsibility to provide “educational, social, philanthropic, fun and cultural programming for all the residence halls.” However, the allocation of some $40,000 to themselves would require diverting money that might otherwise be allocated to complete one of the organization’s stated purposes: providing programming in the residence halls. For an institution already plagued by concerns questioning its significance, legitimacy and impact on campus, we would not recommend inviting additional concerns by passing the bed waiver package.We grant that compensation for the hard-working leaders of some campus organizations is a justified expense given the amount of time and effort poured into their duties, but redirecting such a large sum of money away from all of the students living in the residence halls – who pay into the fund that makes up IRA’s budget – to a mere seven people stretches this logic of paid compensation well beyond its breaking point.To put it bluntly, we are very skeptical that IRA has genuinely considered the best interests of the students living in the residence halls – $40,000 could go a long way toward planning any number of educational, social and fun events that would attract far more than seven people. We strongly urge IRA not to go ahead with this.