The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Some Student Groups Suffer From Funding Poll Glitch: Senate will “let it ride”

Mysterious technical problems in the Student Information Network (SIN) caused a number of student organizations to disappear from Funding Poll last week.  Affected organizations were re-added to Funding Poll by the SIN administrators, but only after many students had already voted. After discussing the issue with several signators and other observers on Wednesday the 7th, Senate decided not to rerun Funding Poll.

SIN administrators Lizzi Lindboe and Tom LaMarre were unable to explain the disappearance of several student groups from Funding Poll.  Although they began managing SIN recently, they had only flushed the old results from Funding Poll without tinkering with it otherwise.  The groups had been correctly created through SIN, but then they did not show up when students looked at their electronic ballots.  Lindboe and LaMarre manually reentered groups who reported these problems.  They also added groups whose signators had failed to properly register before Funding Poll opened.

However, many of these organizations were not reentered until after 35% of the student body had already voted, while others were only re-added after over 40% had voted.  Final turnout was approximately 57% of the student body.  Groups needing help (for the inexplicable error as well as for signator oversight) included Reed Kommunal Shit Kollective (RKSK), Ping Pong Room, Women’s Rugby, Fellatio Rodriguez, the MLLL, Dead Beat Reed Poets, Reed Shooting Sports Kollective (RSSK), Reed-FC, Reed College Publishing Kollectiv (RCPK), the Band Practice Room, J Street U, and Super Olde Reed.  None of these organizations made it into the Top 40, although RKSK and RCPK ranked 53 and 54 out of 88, respectively.

At Wednesday’s Senate meeting, while Funding Poll was still ongoing, senators held a discussion with those present on the problems with Funding Poll.  Senior Greg Lawrence (signator for RKSK) argued that the poll should be redone, in order that students could have a chance to vote for the full list of student groups.  Others, however, offered several counterarguments: a repeated poll might have lower turnout, or the same problems with SIN might reappear; relatively few student groups had been affected, and student groups would need to delay event planning until the Top 40 process had been completed.

Senator Jenny Calvert-Warren was supportive of shifting money from the Top 40 budget to Finance Committee, where all student groups would have potential access to it.  Ultimately, however, Senate voted to approve Senator Junior Rodriguez’s semi-facetious motion to “let it ride” (i.e., do nothing).

Speaking after Funding Poll was closed, Lawrence criticized Senate’s decision, alleging that they “chose convenience over justice.”  He worried that RKSK, which had been affected by the mysterious error, would face difficulties as a result of the Funding Poll problems: “This brings into question the capability of RKSK to organize events like Stim Table and Initiation, and to get random, kool kommunal shit for the enjoyment of the kollektive this semester.”

Other signators contacted by The Quest declined to comment.

Printed: 9/15/2011

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